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The Humanities Conference 2003

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Presentation Details

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Environmental Security in the Next World Order

Wendy E. Scattergood.

Environmental injustice and the destruction of the global environment have become a growing part of international insecurity. The human rights of the people affected by polluting business practices and the degradation local and global ecosystems will play an increasing role in future security concerns. This paper will argue that a tripartite system of Western capitalism, science and religion resulted in a social system which engaged in and reproduced environmental racism, despite social and political awareness of the evils of racism and environmental destruction. A modified world systems framework will be used to show how the joint globalization and institutionalization of this hegemonic discourse emerged and how it affects domestic and foreign race, class and environmental domination. The second part of the paper will discuss specific security concerns which arise from this hegemonic discourse: 1) the environmental effects and the costs of war and terrorism; 2) the increasing demand for and decreasing supply of potable water as a source of internecine and interstate conflict; 3) the increase in environmental degradation and its subsequent affect on public health; 4) the uneven distribution of natural resources between developed and developing countries, which has been a part of the animosity between countries; and 5) the increasing scarcity of these natural resources due to increased demand from economic development and population growth which will only intensify these trends in the future. The final part of the paper will address the needs of the Next World Order and how new values addressing the roots of environmental insecurity may become part of a new global discourse.


Wendy E. Scattergood  (United States)
Assistant Professor
Political Science Discipline
St. Norbert College

Dr. Scattergood is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science at St. Norbert College in DePere, Wisonsin, the Director of Policy Research at the St. Norbert College Survey Center, and the Coordinator of the Environmental Policy Major.

  • Environmental security
  • Environmental justice
  • Globalization
  • Sustainable development

(30 min Conference Paper, English)