Thinkpiece 1

Prior to reading Environmental Security: Approaches and Issues, I have neither learned nor paid attention on the environmental security studies. Thus, most of the information on this book was fairly new to me. However, through these somewhat challenging and complicated texts encompassing distinct theories and schools of thought on environmental security, I was able to acquire various authors’ compelling opinions and approaches to complex issues of environmental security and diverse variables that trigger underdevelopment and human insecurity. At the same time these readings challenged my preconceived understanding of these issues while helping me to gain more comprehensive perception of environmental security.

I learned that the environmental security studies are such vast subject embracing many diverse, controversial issues and conflicting theories. Since, however, these subjects are fairly new areas of study I believe that more research and datas are highly needed and should be collected to develop and promote.

It was interesting to observe conflicting theories on the same issues, such as underdevelopment and violent disputes. According to De Soysa, natural resource scarcity is irrelevant for explaining violent conflicts and prevents to overcome poverty-related vulnerabilities based on the examples of the resource curse/resource abundance theory and wrong governance. He believes that since conflict and development are largely consequences of policy, better policy environment can make difference. Likewise, Benjaminsen, who wrote Is Climate Change Causing Conflict in the Sahel?(the article Professor gave us in the first class), argues that root causes of disputes are embedded in historical and political factors. In contrary, Homer Dixon with Bern-Zurich Group assert that resource scarcity would cause violent conflict and further lead to ecological marginalization and environmental discrimination. Personally, I don’t want to side with either of them because I believe that all of their arguments are convincing. However, if I have a chance to write a research paper on this subject matters, I would like to investigate and research about  weaknesses and contradictory points of these scholars.



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