Knowledge Production at the Environment-Security Nexus: Bewteen Orthodoxy and Transformation

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The question of how changes of the natural environment interact with security receives increasing attention within the context of 21st century global challenges. While abundant knowledge exists, there is no consensus on the nature of the environmentsecurity nexus, and instead, we observe a knowledge battle over predicting the “real” security implications of environmental change. What has received limited attention, however, is the question of how knowledge production on this issue itself is producing “global realities” by strengthening certain practices while foreclosing others. This special issue addresses this gap. It examines how knowledge production influences efforts of governing global environmental change-related (in)securities and how these developments (re)shape the contexts within which they unfold. Providing the analytical
framework for this endeavor, this article engages with the role of knowledge production in environmental politics. We extend these debates to security governance, moving beyond discursive (de)constructions, to highlight the importance of tracing the impacts and policies produced by different environment-security knowledge frames. Using Cox's critical vs. problem-solving knowledge distinction, we provide examples of how knowledge production on the environment-security nexus both reinforces and challenges prevailing ways of knowing, ordering, and securing. Orthodox knowledge
production, aligning with state-centric reasoning, remains dominant. Yet, we highlight how shifts in the orthodox/transformative knowledge production spectrum are on the rise, offering potentials for rethinking security in context of environmental crisis. We conclude by calling for more open knowledge systems and for broadening knowledgepractice interfaces, as pathways for re-focusing environment-security framings towards more just and sustainable visions, practices and policies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103597
JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Knowledge production
  • Environmental change
  • Security
  • Environment-security nexus
  • Climate change

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