Pre-empting Violent Conflict: Learning from Environmental Cooperation

Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASEN2, volume 33)


Recent scholarship in the field of ecological security has been devoted to linkages between environmental degradation and violent conflict. The emerging focus has been how and why some actors engage in cooperation rather than conflict over environmental issues. Two main ideas are considered here: First, a clear distinction is made between environmental security and ecological security as they relate to environmental conflict. Environmental security is defined as the extension of national security interests into the environmental arena, whereas ecological security is a goal of stakeholders to create a condition whereby the physical surroundings of a community provide for the needs of its inhabitants without diminishing its natural stock. Second, this chapter suggests that theories and strategies for resolving environmental conflicts can be developed through analyzing cases in which violent conflict over environmental issues has been avoided. The use of case studies provides insight into existing mechanisms for environmental cooperation and the building of institutions for ecological security.


Environmental Issue Environmental Degradation National Security Environmental Security Ecological Security 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thunderbird — The American Graduate School of International ManagementUSA

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