Environmental Security
A Guide to the Issues
by Elizabeth L. Chalecki
January 2013, 236pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39151-4
$63, £49, 55€, A87
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39152-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

National security has traditionally been seen as a matter of military defense. However, global environmental phenomena, such as climate change, deforestation, and extreme weather events all impact national security. With greater attention being paid to climate change and other environmental issues than ever before, understanding the links between ecological health and international security is of critical importance.

This timely volume presents the key concepts, issues, and debates surrounding environmental security, illustrating through a range of examples and cases how global environmental matters and international security are closely linked.

Issues of climate change, dwindling resources, natural disaster, and disease that comprise environmental security are at the forefront of global politics and the media today. Environmental Security: A Guide to the Issues is a primer for anyone attuned to these threats. This well-reasoned, thought-provoking volume establishes and updates the connection between global environmental problems and international security, describing existing theories of environmental security and illustrating them with evidence from present-day global ecological realities.

Specifically, the book shows readers how both shortages and abundance of natural resources such as fresh water, oil and natural gas, and diamonds and timber can contribute to conflict and insecurity. It also discusses how agriculture and fisheries issues affect food security with international ramifications, how global ecosystem shifts like climate change are affecting both the earth and the movement of people on it, and how war and preparation for war can affect the natural environment. Finally, the book explores how nations can, and must, cooperate with each other to confront and manage these threats.


  • Wide-ranging cases and examples, from climate change to energy to water
  • Primary source documents
  • A chronology
  • A glossary
  • A bibliography
Elizabeth L. Chalecki, PhD, is visiting Mellon assistant professor in the Environmental Studies Program at Goucher College, Baltimore, MD. Her expertise lies in the areas of climate change and security, environmental terrorism, and nontraditional security threat analysis. Before teaching at Goucher, she was the environment and security analyst at the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security. Chalecki has published over 20 articles and book chapters on diverse topics such as climate change and Arctic security, environmental terrorism, climate change and international law, public perceptions of environmental issues, and water in outer space. She has taught at Boston College; Boston University; California State University, Hayward; and the Monterey Institute of International Studies; and worked for Environment Canada, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Brookings Institution. She received her degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University and an MSc in environmental geography from the University of Toronto.


"A useful overview for beginning researchers. Summing Up: Recommended."—Choice, July 1, 2013

Praeger Security International

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Covering global hot spots from Iran to Venezuela and subjects ranging from terrorism and cyber warfare to food security, books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, academic researchers, journalists, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth analysis and international perspectives that are unavailable in the mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and policymakers as well as for anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


• Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
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