Environmental Security in Asia
The purpose of this project is to understand to what extent environmental security issues contribute to intrastate conflicts and, ultimately, state failure. Within the field of environmental security, this research specifically analyzes the way that renewable natural resource scarcity contributes to intrastate conflicts. Country case studies are used for comparative analysis and to draw appropriate lessons learned for policy makers.
A central thesis within the field of environmental security is that environmental stress reduces social capacity and thus gives rise to conflict.Environmental issues and competition for scarce renewable natural resources become security concerns when they reach a point of crisis. By understanding the role that environmental security issues play in state failure, policy recommendations can be devised to mitigate environmental security issues before they lead to violent conflict and/or aggravate a conflict that subsequently leads to state failure.
This research addresses the following questions:
- Is there a causal linkage between environmental security issues and violent conflict? How does the concept of environmental security advance the understanding of causes of violent conflict in specific regions and countries?
- Are environmental security issues causally linked to state failure? If so, how?
- What is the role of governance (local, national, regional and international), legitimacy, and rule of law in mitigating or aggravating environmental security problems?
- How does posing a problem through the lens of environmental security issues lead to new insights and possible new policy actions?
- What relevant lessons can be learned from past failed states?
This project is part of the by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs funded research on Conflict and Security in Asia.
Dr. Fiona Rotberg
The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Utrikesdepartementet)
Rotberg, Fiona, "A Small Country's Role in the Global Environmental Flurry", World Security Network, 4 December 2006.
Rotberg, Fiona, "The World Must Act to Protect Climate Change Victims", The Local, 20 November 2006.
Rotberg, Fiona "The world 's highest conservation battlefield: Conservation and security collide in India and Pakistan's battle for a border glaciers", Asia Media, Wednesday, October 18 2006.
Rotberg, Fiona, "Pakistan and India’s Siachen Glacier: No Man’s Land for Conservation and Peace", World Security Network, 21 September 2006.
Rotberg, Fiona, "On the Edge of a Failed State.", Asia Media, 20 June 2006.
Rotberg, Fiona, "Why the World Should Care about Timor-Leste", Asia Media, 14 June 2006.
Rotberg, Fiona, "Timor-Leste’s Failings: Why the World Should Care.", World Security Network, 12 June 2006.
Rotberg, Fiona, "An Environment for Peace", Nepali Times, 2 June 2006.
Rotberg, Fiona, "Nepal: Environmental Scarcity and State Failure", World Security Network, 30 May 2006.