Recent years have brought a rising awareness of mounting environmental challenges, from more frequent and severe storms to pervasive patterns of conflict over diminishing resources. Likewise, scholars and activists increasingly have been connecting major issues such as climate change and militarism, exploring the ways in which patterns of conflict and degradation are interlinked. These insights are necessary yet perhaps insufficient in the search for viable alternatives. Working on the constructive potentials in our midst, recent interventions under the ambit of “peace ecology” and “environmental peacebuilding” (among other headings) have come to the fore, generating new perspectives on how the conflict-degradation cycle can be turned in the direction of cooperation sustainability instead, at levels of analysis from the intensely local up to the international. This cutting-edge framework explores the rise of emergent geographies including peace parks, transborder conservation zones, post-disaster communities, and bioregional systems of resource provision in striving to move from the political economy of destabilization to a paradigm of sustainable peace.
Randall Amster, J.D., Ph.D., is Director of the Program on Justice and Peace at Georgetown University, and is Executive Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Association. He is the author of numerous books on peace studies and anarchism.