- Code NSPO8033
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject National Security Policy
- Areas of interest Security Studies
- Academic career PGRD
- Dr James Mortensen
- Mode of delivery In Person
Second Semester 2021
See Future Offerings
This course is available for in-person and remote (online) learning.
Climate change is one of the most defining - and contested - issues of the 21st century. While catastrophic weather events such as fires, cyclones, and droughts increasingly tax state capacity, the political, economic and social consequences pose potentially grave risks for state stability and global order. This course examines climate change and environmental security from a national security lens, examining the potential for conflict, confrontation and cooperation. Students will closely examine the securitisation and politicisation of climate change issues, the flow on effects for national security, and policy options for adaptation. Scholars and policy practitioners from NSC, the Crawford School and the wider policy community will provide deep insights into the science, economics and policy of climate change and environmental security. Throughout, this course examines the challenges faced by scientists, security scholars, and practitioners to influence policy in the post-truth age.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific basis of climate change and its main drivers including anthropogenic factors
- Analyse the potential impacts of climate change for national security along a range of political, economic, social and ecological lines
- Explain the transformation in energy systems that will be required to mitigate climate change.
- Compare national security strategies, governance mechanisms and policy options in relation to climate change and environmental security
- Develop and communicate ideas, analysis and argument related to climate and environmental security for scholarly and professional audiences.
- Critical Analysis (35) [LO 1,3]
- Presentation (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Essay (35) [LO 1,2,3,4]
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Weekly lectures over a 12 week semester. In addition the expectation of a further independent study to combining to total approx 130 over the duration of the semester.
A list of readings will be provided in lieu of a prescribed text
La Shier, Brian and James Stanish, “The National Security Impacts of Climate Change” Journal of National Security Law and Policy 10, (2019): 27-43.
Hill, Alice and Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, “Adapt or Perish: Preparing for the Inescapable Effects of Climate Change’ Foreign Affairs, (Jan/Feb 2020).
Allan, Bentley B. “Second Only to Nuclear War: Science and the Making of Existential Threat to Global Climate Governance” International Studies Quarterly, Volume 61, Issue 4 (December 2017), p. 809–820.
McDonald, Matt. “Discourses of Climate Security” Political Geography 33, 1 (2013): 42-51.
Thompson, Andrea. “Yes, Climate Change did influence Australia’s Unprecedented Bushfires” Scientific American, 4 March 2020.
Iyengar, Shanto and Douglas S. Massey, “Scientific Communication in a Post-truth society” PNAS 116, 16 (2019): 7556-7661.
Colgan, Jeff D. “Climate Change and the Politics of Military Bases” Global Environmental Politics 18, 1 (2018): 33-51.
Aaron Ray, Llewelyn Hughes, Charles Kaylor, David Konisky, “Extreme Weather Events and Public Opinion Towards Climate Adaptation,” Global Environmental Change Vol. 46 (2017), 104–113.
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- 6 units
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