Too Insecure: Water and Security

  • Avi Brisman
  • Bill McClanahan
  • Nigel South
  • Reece Walters
Part of the Critical Criminological Perspectives book series (CCRP)


‘Environmental security’ has been defined as ‘[t]he current and future availability (determined by the factors—supply, accessibility and management) of life-supporting ecosystem services and goods for human needs and natural process which contribute to poverty alleviation and conflict deterrence’ (Hecker 2011: 12). While other permutations have been offered, in general, the concept of environmental security tends to ‘link environmental degradation and the associated scarcity of resources with human conflict at individual, group, and state levels’ (Hall 2013: 228; 2015: 44–45; South 2012: 104–109). With the end of the Cold War and increasing knowledge of the negative effects of environmental degradation, scholars have come to recognize that environmental destruction and despoliation present severe threats to ‘human security’ (itself a contested term: compare Bennett and colleagues (2015); Cao and Wyatt (2016); Mobley (2011); Newman (2016); Shearing (2015); Valverde (2014)) and all life of Earth—that the harms and crimes of air and water pollution, deforestation and soil erosion from civilian and military activities can and do adversely and dramatically impact our living conditions—and that such environmental damage can be both a cause and consequence of environmental conflict (Graeger 1996; see also Brisman et al. 2015).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Avi Brisman
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bill McClanahan
    • 1
  • Nigel South
    • 4
    • 2
  • Reece Walters
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Justice Studies College of Justice and SafetyEastern Kentucky UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.School of Justice Faculty of LawQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Newcastle Law School Faculty of Business and LawUniversity of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia
  4. 4.Department of SociologyUniversity of EssexColchester, EssexUK

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