Expanding Our Notions of Defence

Authored by: Verónica Mara Ziliotto

Handbook of Defence Politics

Print publication date:  December  2008
Online publication date:  March  2011

Print ISBN: 9781857434439
eBook ISBN: 9780203804278
Adobe ISBN:


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Following the Cold War, security and defence analysts began to turn their attention towards a number of unconventional threats, and several have noted how increased demand for (and scarcity of) natural resources such as water can contribute to conflicts. Thus, the protection of the world’s natural resources can be seen as a vital global security concern. At the same time, the exploitation of these resources—often in non-sustainable ways—causes contamination, global warming, desertification, droughts, floods and other catastrophes, and in turn the degradation of the environment may result in regional and global conflict. This chapter will focus on the need to expand the conceptual frameworks of academic debate and policymaking world-wide by incorporating an understanding of the relationships between and among the environment, natural resources, security and defence policies. Overall, this chapter argues that in today’s world of increasing globalization and interdependence, the challenges of resource scarcity and environmental degradation must be incorporated into expanded conceptions of defence and security.

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