Increasingly, political and social issues are viewed through the prism of their environmental impact – and none more so than global development. We are warned that if countries like China and India were to achieve the standard of living enjoyed in the West, this would hasten environmental catastrophe. Rising carbon emissions, natural resource depletion and bio-diversity loss in the developing world are thus cast as global problems demanding global solutions. Environmental concerns have joined terrorism and nuclear proliferation as key preoccupations in international affairs since the end of the Cold War. Free from the political constraints of the ‘old world order’, UN officials, Western politicians and NGOs frequently argue that the ‘international community’ has a responsibility to intervene in the affairs of ‘rogue’ sovereign states.
Should industrial pollution and the destruction of natural habitats be seen as ‘crimes against nature’ (ecocide), justifying ecological interventions similar to humanitarian ones? Is the use of force to prevent serious and immediate environmental harm something we should now seriously consider? Or would this amount to ‘eco-imperialism’, transgressing international legal and political norms and state sovereignty?
interim director, European Animal Research Campaign Centre; government affairs, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
commentator on current affairs, the Times, the Spectator; author of The Road to Southend Pier: one man’s struggle against the surveillance society
|Professor Andrew Holden
professor of Environment and Tourism, University of Bedfordshire; Director, Centre for Research into the Environment and Sustainable Tourism Development (CREST); author Environment and Tourism.
|Professor Daniele Archibugi
professor of innovation, governance and public policy, University of London, Birkbeck; author, A Global Commonwealth of Citizens. Toward Cosmopolitan Democracy.
|Dr Philip Cunliffe
senior lecturer in international conflict, University of Kent; co-editor, Politics Without Sovereignty: a critique of contemporary international relations.
Arising after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the decisive affirmation of Western-style democracy, cosmopolitan democracy envisions a world politics in which democratic participation by citizens is not constrained by national borders, and where democracy spreads through dialogue and incentives, not coercion and war.
Daniele Archibugi, Princeton University Press, 9 October 2008
The exact timescale of global warming is unknown, but the 100 months campaign provides a much-needed sense of urgencyMark Lynas, Guardian Comment is Free, 1 August 2008
When Al Gore called for a ‘green army’ recently, chances are he wasn’t envisioning this. Natural resources, including timber, diamonds and wildlife, are increasingly responsible for fuelling violence and facilitating armed conflicts across the world.Andrew Wasley, Ecologist, 1 June 2008
The global environmental agenda, alongside the broad neoliberal agenda, may be viewed by developing states and societies as a neo-imperialist adventure to be resisted.Hugh Dyer, University of Leeds, 4 March 2003
What are the consequences of tourism in the physical and cultural environments people visit? For many people 'Going on holiday' is an increasingly central feature of contemporary western society. The tourism industry has expanded rapidly since 1950, but are environments being benefited or damaged, by the tourist who visit them?
Andrew Holden, Routledge, 14 September 2000