Natural Resources and Social Conflict: Towards Critical Environmental Security

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Palgrave Macmillan, Apr 10, 2012 - Political Science - 247 pages
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The authors challenge prevailing claims about environmental security by reorienting our understanding of the relationship between natural resources and political violence towards one focused on environmental insecurity. This critical environmental security approach begins with analytical questions that are often left out of studies premised on maintaining conditions of security. Whose security is being secured? Who defines conditions of security? How do changing degrees of control and access over the environment contribute to insecurity? The issue of how security reflects broader patterns of political struggle and social control are underscored through empirically grounded, context-specific studies. The contributors encourage new ways of thinking about environmental security by privileging alternative conceptions and understandings that focus on rights, justice and access. They provide the first steps toward articulating a critical analysis of environmental security that dislodges the state as the preferred level of analysis and questions key assumptions that underlie much of the existing literature.

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About the author (2012)

MATTHEW SCHNURR Assistant Professor in the Department of International Development Studies at Dalhousie University, Canada. He is an environmental geographer who publishes in the areas of environment and development, political ecology, and agricultural technologies, with a regional focus on east and southern Africa. LARRY A. SWATUKAssociate Professor and Director of the International Development Program in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development at University of Waterloo, Canada.

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