Environmental security in the international security system: definition problems

Валерія Павлівна Полич


The experience of the XX – the beginning of XXI century demonstrates the crucial importance of security for human existence. Safety study is a scientific field which is not developed enough, although its results are already de facto different from what has been studied by other sciences. Innovations in scientific knowledge, taking into account the new problems, risks and security threats identified, confirm this fact.

After the end of the Cold War, a new international legal order was formed, as a result of that, studies in the field of security required its rethinking as a social phenomenon from a broader methodological points of view, not reducing security only to neutralizing military threats. Identification of subtypes of security (political, military, economic, environmental, food, energy, etc.) by field feature, depending on the presence of threats to a particular group of values does not lead to the loss of the international system of its integrity, but only groups similar variables within the system which contributes to their studies and interpretations. Attempts to build a hierarchy of security subtypes within international security are not rational enough, given their interdependence, as well as (interest, knowledge, worldview, etc.), which guide certain authors in building such a hierarchy.

As a result of the variety of approaches to the interpretation of the concept of "environmental security", researches which are conducted in the XXI century are losing elements of simplicity inherent in the developments of the XX century. The use of an interdisciplinary approach complicates the coordination of environmental security research, but at the same time meets modern needs.

The paper proves the inadequacy of the traditional understanding of security and shows that global changes in the environment create new conflicts, threats and challenges, and thus demonstrate the urgent need to look for new forms of cooperation based on international law for humanity survival and ensuring of sustainable development.

The paper does not claim to reveal the full picture of the phenomenon being studied. Therefore, the author is fully aware of all the formal and conceptual shortcomings that the paper may contain, and welcome any comments, remarks on the provisions set out in it.


danger; security; challenge to security; environmental conflict; environmental security; environmental rights; international environmental law

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