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Constructing Environmental Security and Ecological Interdependence

Constructing Environmental Security and Ecological Interdependence Global Governance 5 (1999), 359–377 Constructing Environmental Security and Ecological Interdependence Karen T. Litfin oth the study and the practice of world politics have been afflicted, until recently, with a profound ecological myopia. The pursuit of Bmilitary power was divorced from environmental protection to the point that whole ecosystems were laid waste in the name of national secu- rity. The “negative externalities” associated with the pursuit of wealth were considered negligible, or at least their spatial scope was thought to involve only local or national politics. In short, “environment” was the in- visible and putatively stable backdrop against which international actors enacted their dramas of conflict and cooperation. To the extent that it was considered at all, nature was perceived as a source of state power, whether through geostrategic positioning or natural resource endowments. So long as nature appeared to be resilient, abundant, and immutable, the study and practice of international relations could proceed despite this blind spot. The assumptions that sustained this blind spot throughout the industrial era, however, are no longer tenable. As nature’s productive and absorptive limits have become evident, all fields of social practice and analysis, in- cluding international relations, are being compelled to widen http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations Brill

Constructing Environmental Security and Ecological Interdependence

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1075-2846
eISSN
1942-6720
DOI
10.1163/19426720-00503005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Global Governance 5 (1999), 359–377 Constructing Environmental Security and Ecological Interdependence Karen T. Litfin oth the study and the practice of world politics have been afflicted, until recently, with a profound ecological myopia. The pursuit of Bmilitary power was divorced from environmental protection to the point that whole ecosystems were laid waste in the name of national secu- rity. The “negative externalities” associated with the pursuit of wealth were considered negligible, or at least their spatial scope was thought to involve only local or national politics. In short, “environment” was the in- visible and putatively stable backdrop against which international actors enacted their dramas of conflict and cooperation. To the extent that it was considered at all, nature was perceived as a source of state power, whether through geostrategic positioning or natural resource endowments. So long as nature appeared to be resilient, abundant, and immutable, the study and practice of international relations could proceed despite this blind spot. The assumptions that sustained this blind spot throughout the industrial era, however, are no longer tenable. As nature’s productive and absorptive limits have become evident, all fields of social practice and analysis, in- cluding international relations, are being compelled to widen

Journal

Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International OrganizationsBrill

Published: Aug 3, 1999

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