Linking climate change and security in Mexico: explorations into an attempted securitisation in the Global South

  • Franziskus von LuckeEmail author
Original Article


Besides being discussed as an environmental or economic issue, climate change has increasingly been evoked as a security problem as well. However, research on the securitisation of climate change focuses mostly on the global level and on countries and actors in the Global North. Thus, there is a growing sentiment in the field of Critical Security Studies that there is a need to include countries from the Global South into the analysis as they are often the target of climate security constructions. Using a revised securitisation framework that distinguishes between different climate security discourses, this paper takes a closer look at the attempted securitisation of climate change in Mexico. The analysis shows that several foreign actors have linked climate change to human security and risk conceptions. Yet, because of the prevalence of other security issues, a diplomatic misunderstanding and a successful politicisation of climate change as environmental issue, its impact on Mexican policy has remained limited. By focusing on a defined national context in the Global South, the paper shows the specific difficulties that securitisations encounter in such a context and the role that different discourses and actors play in their relationship to the host country’s authorities.


climate change development environment Mexico securitisation security 



This paper is part of a broader project (ClimaSec) at the University of Tübingen that analyses the securitisation of climate change in different countries. I am grateful to Thomas Diez, Zehra Wellmann and three anonymous reviewers for comments on the paper. I also thank research assistants Thea Güttler, Benno Keppner, Hanna Spanhel and Josefa Velten for their help in researching data and editing the manuscript. Research for this article has been funded by the German Science Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), Grant No. DI 1688/2-1.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ClimaSec Project, University of TübingenTübingenGermany

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