Environmental (In)securities: Territory, mobility and resilience in a warming Pacific

Dr Jeremy Brice1

1London School of Economics & Political Science, London, United Kingdom

In recent years the Pacific region has become a prominent arena for development of, and experimentation with, discursive formations and governance arrangements which address environmental change as a security threat. Interventions such as the Pacific Islands Forum’s Boe Declaration on Regional Security (PIFS 2019) position anticipated regional environmental crises as catalysts for the development of revised and ‘expanded’ conceptions of security which emphasize human security, sustainable development and disaster resilience. Meanwhile, projections of sea level rise, resource depletion and climate migration have occasioned heightened geopolitical anxieties among regional powers, spurring a search for new means both of securing territorial claims and of governing unauthorized human and nonhuman mobilities. Drawing on recent scholarship within geopolitical ecology and critical security studies this paper will examine the origins and explore the possible implications of the ongoing securitization of environmental change in the Pacific. Considering what novel articulations of national and regional security might be emerging through these developments, it investigates in what ways the securitization of Pacific environments might be unsettling ingrained relationships between security, mobility and territoriality.


Jeremy Brice is a postdoctoral researcher within Oxford University’s Oxford Martin School, where his current research examines the political economy, governance and security of global food supply networks with a focus on processes of financialization. He holds a DPhil in Geography from Oxford University and is a Visiting Fellow in Economic Sociology at LSE.


Dec 09 2021