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Bringing The Environment In: The Case For Comprehensive Security

ERIC K. STERN

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This article presents the case for a comprehensive and multidimensional security concept, including a prioritized environmental component. Following a brief overview of the current state of the security debate, two very different lines of criticism against the notion of linking environment and security are presented and critiqued. The `orthodox' view argues that a relatively restrictive definition of security should be maintained in order to protect the conceptual and substantive integrity of security studies as a discipline. The `radical' view reflects a distaste for the normative and ontological implications of the security discourse and argues that it is inappropriate to `securitize' non-military social or environmental issues. In the last part of the article, the advantages of a comprehensive security concept are outlined, in a context emphasizing the desirability of an intellectual partnership between academics and practitioners geared towards the generation of more balanced, integrated and environmentally sound security policy-making.