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Environment and security in the Middle East: Conceptualizing environmental, human, water, food, health and gender security

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This chapter reviews three features of the reconceptualization of security: a widening, deepening and, sectorialization from "hard" or "national security" concepts to wider "soft" security concepts, such as environmental, human, water, food and, health security. This rethinking of security in many parts of the world has been triggered both by the end of the Cold War and the implosion of the former Soviet Union (1989-1991), as well as by the attacks of 11 September 2001 and their impacts on security thinking. These new concepts will be introduced first reflecting the global academic and political debates and in a second step the regional debates in the Middle East or their applications to issues in the Middle East will be discussed. The chapter is structured in six sections. After a brief introduction to the theme "environment and security in the narrow Middle East" (Israel, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria), section 2 refers to the reconceptualization of security concepts on global environmental change. Section 3 explores the environmental dimension of security, the use of environmental security concepts in and on the Middle East, as well as selected environmental security issues within the region. Section 4 discusses the emergence of the debate on human security, on the use as well as the criticisms of its use in the Middle East, and its application to policy issues in the region. Section 5 contrasts the global academic and policy-oriented conceptualizations of water, food, and health security with conceptual debates and applications in examples on the region. Section 6 deals with gender security and finally section 7 touches on the inherent tensions between "hard" (top-down) and "soft" security concepts in the Middle East. © 2007 Springer.




Brauch, H. G. (2006). Environment and security in the Middle East: Conceptualizing environmental, human, water, food, health and gender security. NATO Security through Science Series C: Environmental Security.

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