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Rethinking Environmental Security

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Rethinking Environmental Security

9781800375840 Edward Elgar Publishing
Simon Dalby, Professor, Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada
Publication Date: 2022 ISBN: 978 1 80037 584 0 Extent: 224 pp
This thought-provoking book explores how the global ecological crisis profoundly challenges conventional meanings of environmental security and raises important questions about how states and other institutions now face the future.

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This thought-provoking book explores how the global ecological crisis profoundly challenges conventional meanings of environmental security and raises important questions about how states and other institutions now face the future.

Simon Dalby provides unique insights into the traditional search for security in terms of using firepower to dominate states and environments, and how this is now endangering people across the globe. Whereas earlier concerns about nuclear firepower focused on the security dilemmas it posed, Dalby offers a new perspective into the existential threats to civilization presented by the combustion of fossil fuels. Propounding that the constraint of firepower in both senses is now key to a flourishing human future, the book calls for international relations scholars to rethink many of the central premises in the field and formulate new policies that focus on the necessity of ecological flourishing to provide meaningful security in a climate disrupted world.

Visionary and inspiring, Rethinking Environmental Security will be a critical read for scholars and students of international relations, climate change, environmental governance and regulation, and political geography and geopolitics. Its novel ideas will also be beneficial for policy makers and practitioners in these fields.

Critical Acclaim
‘This extraordinarily comprehensive book provides an ontological and political reworking of one of the master concepts in International Relations – security – to help us grasp the multiple dangers and anxieties associated with the unsustainable trajectory of global capitalist societies in the Anthropocene. Simultaneously critical and visionary, this unique account pushes us to see environmental security as less about environmental and social protection and more about world making.’
– Robyn Eckersley, University of Melbourne, Australia

‘Simon Dalby has long been a thorn in the side of business-as-usual approaches to ecology, security, and planetary futures. In Rethinking Environmental Security, he demonstrates that existing practices cannot create security—not for the planet, not for its people, and not for a political-economic system premised on climate stability and ever-expanding fossil fuel use. Dalby shows that the firepower destabilizing the international system is not military might, but the extractivist logic of the world’s energy economy. Climate stationarity is dead—and promises to take with it much of the thinking about security, territoriality and risk that brought us to this point. Dalby reminds us that nothing will change until our understanding of security wakes up to the politics of the Anthropocene.’
– Ken Conca, American University, US

‘Simon Dalby has been at the forefront of efforts to rethink “security”, “environmental security” and the discipline of International Relations for almost three decades. Rethinking Environmental Security is a lucid and important addition to this body of work, framed around the claim that, in a world of both war and climate change, humanity needs to develop ways of controlling firepower in all its forms.’
– Jan Selby, University of Sheffield, UK
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