Environmental security and climate change: Analysing the discourse

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

232 Citations (Scopus)


This article analyses the emerging discourse on ‘climate security’ and investigates whether and how attempts to consider environmental problems as security issues are transforming security practices. Attempts to broaden the security agenda have been deemed as spreading the confrontational logic of security—which, within international relations, is traditionally associated with the exceptional decision that brings into existence the logic of war—into sectors from which it had been excluded. This problematic development has been described as ‘securitization’. This article argues that this perspective does not consider whether and how by securitizing nontraditional sectors, alternative security logics are evoked and practices associated with securitization are challenged and transformed. The securitization of the environment, it is argued, is transforming existing security practices and provisions. This process is part of broader re-articulation of the spaces in which a logic of security based on emergency and contingency is legitimated and those in which a logic of prevention and management prevails. It implies new roles for security actors and different means to provide security.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-602
Number of pages18
JournalCambridge Review of International Affairs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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