Ecological Security: An Evolutionary Perspective on Globalization

Ecological Security: An Evolutionary Perspective on Globalization

by Dennis Clark Pirages
     
 

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Global environmental politics has emerged from its initial incarnation in the arena of 'low politics' and is rapidly becoming a 'high politics' concern. Concern over water pollution, air pollution, deforestation, and related basic environmental issues is giving way to a broader ecological security agenda. In this pathbreaking book, Dennis Clark Pirages and Theresa

Overview

Global environmental politics has emerged from its initial incarnation in the arena of 'low politics' and is rapidly becoming a 'high politics' concern. Concern over water pollution, air pollution, deforestation, and related basic environmental issues is giving way to a broader ecological security agenda. In this pathbreaking book, Dennis Clark Pirages and Theresa Manley DeGeest argue for dramatically broadening the context in which security priorities are established in an age of increasing globalization. Addressing the very fundamental question of the sources of premature human deaths and associated insecurity, both historically and in the contemporary world, the authors observe that in the twentieth century starvation killed nearly as many people as did military conflict. But disease was responsible for killing nearly fourteen times as many people as was warfare. And in the contemporary world of the twenty-first century, environmental terrorism and biological warfare are blurring the traditional distinctions between natural disasters, accidental deaths, and military casualties. Ecological Security moves the analysis of global environmental and resource issues to the next level by developing an 'eco-evolutionary' perspective for analyzing emerging problems associated with rapid globalization. Preserving future ecological security will depend upon maintaining dynamic equilibriums among human populations, and between them and pathogenic microorganisms, other species, and the sustaining capabilities of nature. This eco-evolutionary framework is used to anticipate and analyze emerging demographic, ecological, and technological discontinuities and dilemmas associated with rapid globalization. The authors conclude by stressing the need for new kinds of global public goods to mitigate the harshest impacts of these rapid and interrelated changes.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The recent SARS epidemic caused many to wonder not only how and why such outbreaks occur but also what can be done to prevent them. For this ambitious work, Pirages (international environmental politics, Univ. of Maryland) and DeGeest, a graduate student at Maryland, have developed a "dynamic eco-evolutionary theoretical perspective to analyze and anticipate" problems like SARS. They argue that bio-evolutionary and sociocultural evolutionary patterns are more likely to be disrupted today in ways that jeopardize human survival. The heart of the book studies the technological innovations, demographic shifts, and environmental changes that once caused change on a small or local scale, but because of globalization, are experienced nearly instantaneously around the globe. To protect the security of evolution and thereby ensure human existence, the authors contend that global governance (not to be confused with a world government) is needed. While much of the book's data and examples are drawn from other sources, the authors' attempt to create a holistic explanatory model is impressive. Their recommendation for global governance, however, is unrealistic given the current realities of the international system. Recommended for larger public and academic libraries.-Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780742577640
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
07/28/2003
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
296
File size:
5 MB

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Meet the Author

Dennis Clark Pirages is Harrison Professor of International Environmental Politics at the University of Maryland. Theresa Manley DeGeest is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland.

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