Environmental Security Leaders Gather at Wilson Center

Former U.S. Government Officials Offer Valuable Perspectives on Evolution of U.S. Environmental Security Efforts

Jul 14, 2008

Some of the key environmental security players from the Clinton administration assembled at the Wilson Center on June 27, 2008, to comment on a forthcoming book that recounts this policy history. Security and the Environment: U.S. Policy and Practices as a Test Case for Securitisation Theory, by Rita Floyd, analyzes the development of environmental security within the U.S. government over the last several decades. Floyd, an Economic and Social Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the University of Warwick, uses the story of environmental security in the United States to test securitization theory.

In attendance were (left to right) Jennifer Sciubba, Arthur Bradshaw, Gary Vest, Alan Hecht, Geoff Dabelko, Richard Smith, Katrine Mehlsen, Rita Floyd, Abraham Haspel, Sherri Goodman, and Dan Myers. As participants discussed the draft, they reminisced about events in the 1990s that made environmental security a salient issue within the U.S. government. The Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program was created in 1994 in part to fill the need for a nonpartisan forum for scholars and practitioners to discuss these emerging issues.

The participants agreed that although there is not currently a U.S. government office dedicated to environmental security, many of the same issues are still being addressed within the government. For instance, last month, the National Intelligence Council released its long-awaited National Intelligence Assessment on the National Security Implications of Global Climate Change to 2030.

In addition to this book project, Floyd is also the co-editor—with Richard Matthew of the University of California, Irvine—of the forthcoming Environmental Security: Frameworks for Analysis, which will examine various approaches to environmental security. Chapter authors include ECSP Director Geoff Dabelko and other environmental security scholars, such as Thomas Homer-Dixon, Kent Butts, Aaron Wolf, Marc Levy, Saleem Ali, Simon Dalby, Alexander Carius, Arthur Westing, Ole Wæver, and Daniel Deudney.

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