Is Human Security a Relevant Concept in the Context of Climate Change Adaptation Policies?

Katriona McGlade, Christiane Gerstetter, Elizabeth Tedsen, Rodrigo Vidaurre

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This paper analyses the relevance of the concept of human security for the purpose of climate adaptation policies. The starting point of this inquiry is recent high-level debates and reports framing climate change as a security issue. One way in which climate change can be considered a ‘security risk’ is that its impacts are expected to undermine human security if adaptation measures are not taken. There is ample evidence that climate change poses threats to human security (e.g. water-related, economic, health, physical) from which it is necessary to protect individuals. However, the use and usefulness of the concept of human security for climate adaptation policy-making are much less apparent. This paper discusses the role of the human security concept in adaptation policies from an empirical and normative point of view. It examines its role in high-level discourse (e.g. in national foreign policy statements or at the UN general assembly) as well as in national adaptation policies. The paper is based, inter alia, on case studies that included over 70 in-depth, qualitative interviews with policy-makers and experts in four MMES (Mediterranean, Middle East and Sahel) countries (Ethiopia, Israel, Morocco and the occupied Palestinian territory (oPT)) as well as at EU and UN level.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Change and Human Security in Africa and the Middle East
EditorsMohamed Behnassi, Katriona McGlade
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-45648-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-45646-1, 978-3-319-83337-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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