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Environment, Scarcity, and Violence

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Environment, Scarcity, and Violence Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Earth's human population is expected to pass eight billion by the year 2025, while rapid growth in the global economy will spur ever increasing demands for natural resources. The world will consequently face growing scarcities of such vital renewable resources as cropland, fresh water, and forests. Thomas Homer-Dixon argues in this sobering book that these environmental scarcities will have profound social consequences--contributing to insurrections, ethnic clashes, urban unrest, and other forms of civil violence, especially in the developing world.Homer-Dixon synthesizes work from a wide range of international research projects to develop a detailed model of the sources of environmental scarcity. He refers to water shortages in China, population growth in sub-Saharan Africa, and land distribution in Mexico, for example, to show that scarcities stem from the degradation and depletion of renewable resources, the increased demand for these resources, and/or their unequal distribution. He shows that these scarcities can lead to deepened poverty, large-scale migrations, sharpened social cleavages, and weakened institutions. And he describes the kinds of violence that can result from these social effects, arguing that conflicts in Chiapas, Mexico and ongoing turmoil in many African and Asian countries, for instance, are already partly a consequence of scarcity.Homer-Dixon is careful to point out that the effects of environmental scarcity are indirect and act in combination with other social, political, and economic stresses. He also acknowledges that human ingenuity can reduce the likelihood of conflict, particularly in countries with efficient markets, capable states, and an educated populace. But he argues that the violent consequences of scarcity should not be underestimated--especially when about half the world's population depends directly on local renewables for their day-to-day well-being. In the next decades, he writes, growing scarcities will affect billions of people with unprecedented severity and at an unparalleled scale and pace.Clearly written and forcefully argued, this book will become the standard work on the complex relationship between environmental scarcities and human violence.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction — Aim and structure of the book — Key research concepts, methods, and goals — 2. Overview — The critical role of environmental resources — Sources of environmental scarcity — The importance of context — Pivotal countries — Ingenuity and adaptation — 3. Two centuries of debate — Neo-Malthusians versus economic optimists — The distributionist alternative — Thresholds, interdependence, and interactivity — Social friction and adaptive failure — Appendix. How to read a systems diagram — 4. Environmental scarcity — Three sources of scarcity — Factors producing scarcity — The physical trends of global change — 5. Interactions and social effects — Interactions — Social effects — Appendix. The causal role of environmental scarcity — 6. Ingenuity and adaptation — The nature and role of ingenuity — Some factors increasing the requirement for ingenuity — Some factors limiting the supply of ingenuity — Conclusions — Appendix. Can poor countries attain endogenous growth? — 7. Violence — Types of violent conflict — Four further cases — Urban growth and violence — Implications for international security — Appendix. Hypothesis testing and case selection — 8. Conclusions — Notes — General readings on environmental security — Index.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400822997
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Subject:
Social conflict
Creator:
Thomas F. Homer-Dixon
Author:
Thomas F. Homer-Dixon
Author:
Homer-Dixon, Thomas F.
Author:
Homer-Dixon, Thomas F.
Subject:
Political Science : Public Policy - General
Subject:
Business & Economics : International - Economics
Subject:
Business & Economics : Development - Sustainable Development
Subject:
History & Theory
Subject:
Violence
Subject:
Natural Resources
Subject:
History & Theory - General
Subject:
Violence in Society
Subject:
International Relations
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Science and International Relations
Subject:
Nature Studies-General
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
Political Science : International Relations - General
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
February 2001
Binding:
eBooks
Language:
English
Pages:
272

Related Subjects

Engineering » Engineering » Power Resources » Alternative and Renewable
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » Social Science » Developing Countries
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Violence in Society
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

Environment, Scarcity, and Violence
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Product details 272 pages Princeton University Press - English 9781400822997 Reviews:
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