International Organisations and the Securitisation of the Environment in Post-Conflict Western Balkans

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

Abstract

Environmental security is broadly defined as a concept concerned with the relationship of threats between environmental change and human society. While its focus often is on the consequences of environmental threats like pollution and climate change, it also entails the potential of environment to serve as a basis for cooperation. This Doctoral dissertation is a historical analysis of the concept of environmental security in international cooperation in the post-conflict Western Balkans from 1999 onwards. The analysis examines the securitisation of environment carried out by international organisations. It looks at the way in which actors like UN agencies and OSCE, aimed to enhance human security and encourage trans-boundary cooperation through environmental causes, thereby attempting to contribute to overall stability in the region. The dissertation examines the implications that environmental security discourse had in terms of both environmental cooperation and the concept of security. In terms of theory, the dissertation relies on the securitisation framework introduced by the Copenhagen School. It considers security as constructed through an inter-subjective process between a referent object, a securitising agent and an audience. Securitisation may help to raise new issues onto the political agenda, but it may also end up restricting democratic discussion or lead to militarisation. However, the dissertation follows scholars like Balzacq, Oels, and Trombetta in arguing that the practices of security may also need to change as new challenges like climate change arise. Indeed, the wider aim of the dissertation is to yield new insights into the securitization framework itself. Therefore, it looks at the degree to which the process in the Western Balkans has led to securitisation through the emergence of new environmental security practices and policies. The research shows that in the Western Balkans, the securitisation of environment was primarily used as a tool for peace-building. It has only led to a limited degree of securitisation, although some new security practices emerged, such as the mapping of environmental threats. As a concept, however, environmental security has been useful for focusing cooperation on multiple sectors. The results overall suggest that there is a need for new, more comprehensive and inclusive security logic to counter threats like climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Helsinki
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Rentola, Kimmo, Supervisor
  • Järvinen, Jouni, Supervisor
Award date29 Sep 2018
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-951-51-3331-1
Electronic ISBNs978-951-51-3332-8
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2018
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Fields of Science

  • 517 Political science

Cite this

Hakala, Emma Sofia. / International Organisations and the Securitisation of the Environment in Post-Conflict Western Balkans. Helsinki : University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, 2018. 313 p.
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International Organisations and the Securitisation of the Environment in Post-Conflict Western Balkans. / Hakala, Emma Sofia.

Helsinki : University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, 2018. 313 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

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KW - 517 Political science

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

SN - 978-951-51-3331-1

T3 - Publications of the Faculty of Social Sciences

PB - University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences

CY - Helsinki

ER -

Hakala ES. International Organisations and the Securitisation of the Environment in Post-Conflict Western Balkans. Helsinki: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, 2018. 313 p. (Publications of the Faculty of Social Sciences; 88).