“Ecological Security: Climate Change and the Construction of Security”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Matt McDonald
School of Political Science and International Studies
University of Queensland
Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 12:30 p.m. (Istanbul)
Climate change is increasingly recognized as a security issue. Yet this recognition belies contestation over what security means and whose security is viewed as threatened, with different accounts ranging from those focused on national sovereignty to those emphasizing the vulnerability of human populations. This presentation outlines the core contentions of a new book, a book which discusses the ethical assumptions and implications of these ‘climate security’ discourses and makes a case for moving beyond the protection of human institutions and collectives. Drawing on insights from political ecology, feminism and critical theory, the book suggests the need to focus on the resilience of ecosystems themselves when approaching the climate-security relationship, orienting towards the most vulnerable across time, space and species. The book outlines the ethical assumptions and contours of ecological security before exploring how it might find purchase in contemporary political contexts.
Associate Professor Matt McDonald is Reader in International Relations in the School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland. He is the author of Security, the Environment and Emancipation (Routledge, 2012), co-author (with Anthony Burke and Katrina Lee-Koo) of Ethics and Global Security (Routledge, 2014) and author of Ecological Security: Climate Change and the Construction of Security (Cambridge UP, 2021). He is currently working on an Australian Research Council-funded project examining comparative national responses to the security implications of climate change.