Edited by Edward A. Page and Michael Redclift
Chapter 8: The European Union and the ‘Securitisation’ of the Environment
John Vogler 1 INTRODUCTION Environmental degradation, resource scarcity and the subsequent socio-political impact are a potential threat to security as they may give rise to or exacerbate civil conﬂicts and conﬂicts between states. We therefore welcome that the international institutions are attaching increasing importance to the relationship between environmental stress and security. We will examine how to further the issue of preventing and reducing conﬂicts of environmental origin. (Communique, G8 Environment Ministers Meeting, Schwerin 26–28 March 1999) The ending of the Cold War in Europe destroyed many of the old certainties about the character of threats, the meaning of security and the identity of the providers of security. It also coincided with the upsurge of public and political interest in global environmental change in the late 1980s and early 1990s. One result was an ongoing academic debate on the redeﬁnition or extension of existing security concepts with particular reference to environmental threats. Much of the argument was conducted in North America (Deudney and Matthew, 1999) but there were also signiﬁcant European contributions. Some commentators explored the prospects for a radical redeﬁnition of the core concept of security. In international relations the term had long been interpreted to mean the absence of military threat to the territorial integrity, independence and core values of the state. Lack of such security in an anarchic world of armed nations represented the basic problematic for generations of scholars and statesmen. In the aftermath of the Cold War and...
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