Destabilizing the environment-conflict thesis

Ruralism The countryside is often presented as bucolic, close to nature; the city, by contrast, as artifice shaped by capital.

Destabilizing the environment-conflict thesis

General Readings on Environmental Security Figures 1. The previously published material and this book present the results of several large international research projects on the links between environmental stress and violence in developing countries.

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In total, these projects involved about one hundred researchers and advisors from fifteen countries on four continents. I am particularly grateful to Jeffrey Boutwell of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, who worked with me as codirector of two of these research projects.

George Rathjens, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also played a key role in the early stages of this work. Both Jeffrey and George have been the finest colleagues I could have wished for in these endeavors.

Valerie Percival and Philip Howard, in particular, helped keep multiple projects moving at the same time, sometimes under very difficult circumstances. Jane Willms gathered key materials and set up our extremely useful computerized database which is accessible via the World Wide Web.

Jessica Blitt worked closely with me to complete the book manuscript; she was responsible for all fact checking, figures, and diagrams. Michele Rizoli provided vital administrative support in Toronto as did Annette Mann Bourne who also edited and prepared many of our occasional papers in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

To Jane, Jessica, Michele, and Annette: Financial support for the research reviewed in this book was provided by the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security, the Donner Canadian Foundation, the W.

I am exceedingly grateful for the confidence of these funders over the years. Lastly, I wish to thank my students and my critics. I often feel that I learn more from my students than they do from me.

As for my critics, almost all of their comments over the years have been constructive and thoughtful. My work has been greatly improved by their attention.

They have encouraged me to make my arguments sharper, my logic clearer, and my evidence deeper and better marshaled. They are not responsible for the failures of this volume, but they can take great credit for its successes. Does loss of biodiversity from deforestation risk the security of future generations by limiting their opportunities to create new crops and medicines?

We can narrow the scope of the problem by focusing on how environmental stress affects conflict rather than security. Still the topic is too vast. Environmental stress might contribute to conflicts as diverse as war, terrorism, or diplomatic and trade disputes. Moreover, it might have a great range of causal roles: We can narrow the scope further by focusing on how environmental stress affects violent national and international conflict.

Intuitively, this topic seems more tractable.This thesis is illustrated with particular reference to three issues: water supplies (and scope for water wars), energy demand/supply, and a host of other environmental problems with widespread impact such as desertification, global warming and population/ poverty pressures.

Hence, the resource curse thesis is a tendency, and not a law. Exploration of natural resources like oil can have diverse impacts, including environmental degradation due to pollution from companies, and violent conflict because of competing individual or group interests for resource windfalls [ [14], [6] ].

Environment-Conflict Link and Dynamics But the regulations dealing with the trade of timber products have not, to date, included a comprehensive definition of conflict timber. The EU, for example, has yet to put forth a blacklist of all companies with the history of, or potential to violate an established and stringent corporate code of conduct.

Barnett () argues that the environment– conflict hypothesis is theoretically rather than empirically driven. Peluso and Watts () provide alternative perspectives on the relationship between violence, resources and environment.

Destabilizing the environment-conflict thesis

continues in the argument that when population growth exceeds ecological limits, conflict will ensue. Here, the most immediate development and human security issues are peripheral to issues are peripheral to.

International security

destabilizing events. 2 As is clear, while the incidence of both violent and non-violent political acts decline in the late s, both increase noticeably in the mid to late s. Indeed, the Intensity of Political Violence index approaches it post-war high in

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