- September 6, 2018
- Thursday, 15:00PM to 16:00PM
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Welcome to a seminar with Matt McDonald on his work on Climate change and ecological security. Matt McDonald is Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, Australia, and has written substantially about climate security discourse. He recently published the article Climate change and security: towards ecological security?
RSVP to Jiayi Zhou ([email protected]) no later than September 3.
There is increasing engagement with the relationship between climate change and security in international relations thought and practice. Yet the nature of this engagement differs significantly, illustrating radically different conceptions of the nature of the threat posed, to whom and (most importantly) what constitutes appropriate policy responses. These different climate security discourses encourage practices as varied as national adaptation strategies and globally-oriented mitigation action. Given these differences, it becomes important to consider whether we can identify progressive discourses of climate security: approaches underpinned by defensible ethical assumptions and encouraging effective practical responses to climate change.
While discourses of national, international and human security dominate existing engagement with the climate-security relationship, here I make a case for an ecological security discourse. Such a discourse orients towards ecosystem resilience and the rights and needs of the most vulnerable across space (populations of developing worlds), time (future generations) and species (other living beings). It is both morally more defensible than other climate security discourses and practically most likely to encourage practices oriented towards redressing the problem of climate change itself. This paper notes the limits of existing accounts of climate security before outlining the contours of an ‘ecological security discourse’ regarding climate change.
Matt McDonald is Associate Professor of International Relations in the School of Political Science and International Studies at UQ. His research is in the area of critical approaches to security, and in particular the relationship between security and environmental change. He has published on these themes in journals such as European Journal of International Relations, Security Dialogue, International Theory, International Political Sociology, Review of International Studies and Journal of Global Security Studies. He is the author of Security, the Environment and Emancipation (Routledge, 2012), co-author of Ethics and Global Security (Routledge, 2014), and is co-editor of Australian Journal of Politics and History.