Institute of Political Science

The Securitisation of Climate Change: Actors, Processes and Consequences (ClimaSec)


The securitisation of the environment, i.e. the presentation of dangers to the environment as an existential threat, plays a central role in the discussion about changes to our understanding of international security. Climate change occupies a large space within this debate. It is often claimed that climate change causes water shortages and environmental disasters which lead directly (as a distributive conflict) or indirectly (e.g. through migration) to conflicts. But this connection is disputable. Securitisations of climate change differ in what they perceive to be the referent object (who or what is threatened?), which logical links they propose (what leads to what and why?) and which measures they demand (what to do?). There is also little knowledge about the underpinning political processes that lead to the securitisation of climate change. In this project we link the theory of securitisation as it has been developed by the so called Copenhagen School with a concept of framing as used in social movement theories. We use this to investigate which actors use what kind of securitisation and why, who is successful and what the political consequences are. Thereby we contribute to the debate on international security analyses, in which the connection between politicisation and securitisation remains undertheorised.


ClimaSec Team