Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security
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Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security

Edited by Michael R. Redclift and Marco Grasso

The Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security is a landmark publication which links the complexities of climate change to the wellbeing and resilience of human populations. It is written in an engaging and accessible way but also conveys the state of the art on both climate change research and work into human security, utilizing both disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. Organized around thematic sections, each chapter is written by an acknowledged expert in the field, and discusses the key concepts and evidence base for our current policy choices, and the dilemmas of international policy in the field. The Handbook is unique in containing sophisticated ethical and moral questions as well as new information and data from different geographical regions. It is a timely volume that makes the case for acting wisely now to avert impending crises and global environmental problems.
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Chapter 1: Climate change as an issue of human security

Simon Dalby


Human security has become a major concern in international politics over the last couple of decades and a matter for extensive academic analysis and policy prescription too. Given the recent rising salience of discussions of the disruptions caused by climate change, linking the two themes is an obvious way of thinking about vulnerabilities and policy prescriptions for the future. But as this chapter and others in this section of the Handbook make clear, linking human security and climate change is not an easy matter once one gets past the obvious invocation of general dangers due to large-scale environmental disruption (Webersik 2010). In part this is because of the uncertainties about precisely how climate change is manifesting itself in particular places. Some of the discussion is necessarily speculative, but the difficulty is also linked directly to the multiple dimensions of what is included under the rubric of human security. The specific forms of political and economic arrangements that facilitate human security are also part of the puzzle, and human security itself cannot be simply taken for granted uncritically as a universal norm without thinking through how it is to be provided and by whom.

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