In recent years, scholars in international relations and other fields have begun to conceive of security more broadly, moving away from a state-centered concept of national security toward the idea of human security, which emphasizes the individual and human well-being. Viewing global environmental change through the lens of human security connects such problems as melting ice caps and carbon emissions to poverty, vulnerability, equity, and conflict.
This book examines the complex social, health, and economic consequences of environmental change across the globe. In chapters that are both academically rigorous and policy relevant, the book discusses the connections of global environmental change to urban poverty, natural disasters (with a case study of Hurricane Katrina), violent conflict (with a study of the decade-long Nepalese civil war), population, gender, and development.
The book makes clear the inadequacy of traditional understandings of security and shows how global environmental change is raising new, unavoidable questions of human insecurity, conflict, cooperation, and sustainable development.
Contributors: W. Neil Adger, Jennifer Bailey, Jon Barnett, Victoria Basolo, Hans Georg Bohle, Mike Brklacich, May Chazan, Chris Cocklin, Geoffrey D. Dabelko, Indra de Soysa, Heather Goldsworthy, Betsy Hartmann, Robin M. Leichenko, Laura Little, Alexander Lopez, Richard A. Matthew, Bryan McDonald, Eric Neumayer, Kwasi Nsiah-Gyabaah, Karen L. O'Brien, Marvin S. Soroos, Bishnu Raj Upreti
Bryan McDonald is Assistant Director of the Center for Unconventional Security at the University of California, Irvine.
By bringing people back into the security discourse, this superb collection of essays provides an important reminder of the centrality of individuals and communities for fostering both security and sustainable development. Through illuminating the ways in which global environmental change affects people's needs, rights, and values, the authors convincingly make the case for states to prioritize human security in responding to the manifold challenges posed by global environmental change. --Erika Weinthal, Duke University, author of State Making and Environmental Cooperation "Since its beginning in 1996 the Global Environmental Change and Human Security (GECHS) program has come a long way; just how far is the subject of this book. In gathering together essays on some of the most pertinent issues in the environmental security as human security literature it not only illustrates how valuable this approach has already been, but also, by focusing on climate change, vulnerability, equity, and the connection between human insecurity and conflict opens a variety of new and exciting research areas. This book is highly recommended to anyone interested in human security, environmental security, and climate security." --Rita Floyd, British Academy post-doctoral fellow, University of Warwick, and Associate Fellow, Institute for Environmental Security, author of Security and the Environment "This important volume significantly enhances our understanding of the complex relationship between environmental change and security while developing and applying one of the most sophisticated accounts of human security seen in the literature to date. Defining human security ultimately as the recovery of agency, the contributors to this volume draw attention to the crucial point that genuine vulnerability to environmental change is often related less to the dynamics of that change than to the inequalities inherent in existing political, economic, and social structures. With this volume the Global Environmental Change and Human Security project has established itself as the key intellectual focal point for thinking critically about the relationship between environmental change and the security of the most vulnerable." --Matt McDonald, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick