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Environmental Peacemaking

Paperback
, 264 pages

4 b&w illus.

ISBN:
9780801871931
November 2002
$17.50

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Environmental Peacemaking

How can environmental cooperation be used to bolster regional peace? A large body of research suggests that environmental degradation may catalyze violent conflict. Environmental cooperation, in contrast, has gone almost unexplored as a means of peacemaking, even though it opens several effective channels: enhancing trust, establishing habits of cooperation, lengthening the time horizons of decisionmakers, forging cooperative trans-societal linkages, and creating shared regional norms and identities.

This volume examines the case for environmental peacemaking by comparing progress, prospects, and problems related to environmental peacemaking initiatives in six regions—South Asia, Central Asia, the Baltic, Southern Africa, the Caucasus, and the U.S.-Mexico border. The regions vary dramatically in terms of scale, interdependencies, history, and kinds of insecurity. But each is marked by a highly fluid, changing security order, creating a potential for environmental cooperation to have a catalytic effect on peacemaking.

Among the volume's key findings are these: that substantial potential for environmental peacemaking exists in most regions; that significant tensions from narrower efforts to improve the strategic climate among mistrustful governments can impair broader trans-societal efforts to build environmental peace; and that the effects of environmental peacemaking initiatives are highly sensitive to the ways they are institutionalized.

Contributors include: Doug W. Blum, Providence College; Ken Conca, University of Maryland; Geoffrey D. Dabelko, Woodrow Wilson Center; Pamela M. Doughman, University of Maryland; Ashok Swain, Uppsala University; Larry A. Swatuk, University of Botswana; Erika Weinthal, Tel Aviv University; Stacy D. VanDeveer, University of New Hampshire.

Ken Conca is associate professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland and director of the Harrison Program on the Future Global Agenda. Geoffrey D. Dabelko is director of the Environmental Change and Security Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

"Ken Conca and Geoffrey Dabelko have put together an interesting and useful volume on the potential linkages between environmental cooperation and peace... informative and well written... should be read by scholars and policy actors interested in the potential ways environmental cooperations might promote peace rather than violence."

"There is clearly a need for a book on this topic. The time has come to assess the consequences of environmental institutions and the opportunities they provide for cooperation and initiative."

"The arguments developed in Environmental Peacemaking will be of extraordinary value, especially in shared watersheds, if we are to sustainably meet these needs."

"Provocative and invaluable... makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the link between environment cooperation and peace."

"A provocative and invaluable book... makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the link between environment cooperation and peace."

"It should be of interest to scholars in the field of environmental security, environmental politics and international relations."