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Crucible For Survival

Environmental Security and Justice in the Indian Ocean Region

Edited by Timothy Doyle and Melissa Risely

Publication Year: 2008

Spanning a vast, multicontinental area-from Asia to Africa, and including the Middle East and Australia-the Indian Ocean Region represents a diverse and historical network of cultures, economies, and environments. It has been described as the "heart of the Third World" and, in precolonial times, "a crucible for a first global economy." Today, it is a crucible for global survival. In this collection, Timothy Doyle and Melissa Risely bring together an international group of environmentalists, political scientists, and international relations scholars largely from the region to address key issues vital to determining the human and environmental security of the region. Addressing topics that include agrifood production systems, the geopolitics of water resources along the Mekong River basin, oil production, transportation, waste disposal, and climate change, the contributors highlight the importance of regional collaboration and offer policy and management strategies for cooperative, multinational problem solving.

Published by: Rutgers University Press


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-x

In 1998, one of this volume’s editors, Timothy Doyle, published an article in a special edition of the Third World Quarterly dedicated to exploring North-South political geographies. This edition, put together by David Simon and Klaus Dodds...

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pp. xi

The efforts of many people go into making such a book, and despite our best intentions, only a number can be mentioned here. First, thanks must go to Professors Sanjay Chaturvedi and Dennis Rumley for reasons fully elucidated in the preface to...

Part I: Introduction

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Chapter 1: Crucible for Survival: Earth, Rain, Fire, and Wind

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pp. 3-24

In February 2007, we were in Muscat, Oman, for the Fourth Meeting of the Indian Ocean Research Group (IORG), focusing on issues of marine biodiversity and fisheries security. Fish is the most earth’s most traded commodity, and in many ways the successful management of global fish stocks will determine human survival in the...

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Chapter 2: Securitizing the Indian Ocean Region: Concrete Entity and Geopolitical Imaginations

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pp. 25-43

The main purpose of this chapter is to identify some of the central issues raised in this book within the three broadly defined themes of changing geopolitical orientations, regional cooperation, and security concerns. However, before doing this, a...

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Chapter 3: The Post-Tsunami Indian Ocean Region: Emerging Perspectives on Environmental Security

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pp. 44-60

On December 26, 2004, an earthquake-induced tsunami disaster struck the coastal regions and communities on the Indian Ocean rim, killing more than 300,000 people and displacing 5 million. The coastal zones accounted for nearly 96 percent of the total human loss and sufferings and about 12 percent of the total economic...

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Chapter 4: Coasts Under Pressure: Marine and Coastal Environmental Security in the Indian Ocean Context

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pp. 61-72

The tsunami of December 26, 2004, that struck coastal areas of Indian Ocean littoral states with such devastation and loss of life provided a graphic example of the forces of nature, and the effects of such forces on coastal communities. The...

Part II: Earth

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Chapter 5: Earth Security in the Indian Ocean Region: Food, Fisheries, and Biodiversity

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pp. 75-86

Driving out from the center of Johannesburg through its suburbs, we were confronted—as every traveler there inevitably is—by the stark reality that the postcolonial world of Africa is clearly divided between the haves and have-nots. It is...

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Chapter 6: Food and Environmental Security in the Indian Ocean Region: Interrogating the GM Doubly green Revolution

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pp. 87-101

Pressured by global population growth, which currently stands at 6.5 billion, the Indian Ocean Region, dominated by Africa, is a key site of global hunger. Of the estimated 850 million people worldwide classified as malnourished, some 200 million...

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Chapter 7: Plundered Waters: Somalia’s Maritime Resource Insecurity

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pp. 102-115

The demise of Somalia as a functioning state and the ongoing, seemingly endless conflict there is well documented. What is less well acknowledged and understood is the impact the failure of the Somali state has had offshore, particularly in environmental...

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Chapter 8: Responses and Resilience of Fisherfolks on the Tsunami Event in Southern Thailand

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pp. 116-130

In this era of environmental insecurity, with increasing natural disasters—possibly caused by global warming—we have been made to realize that we are no longer “in the times of procrastination, of half measures, of soothings and bafflings, expedients of delays” (Sir Winston Churchill, 1936). In fact, we are entering a period of...

Part III: Rain

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Chapter 9: The Essence of Life: Water Security in the Indian Ocean Region

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pp. 133-144

We are sitting at the mouth of the Murray River, the largest river in Australia. We are waiting patiently for the arrival of a famous Australian long distance swimmer—Susie Moroney—who, in an act of symbolic protest at the ill-health of the river system, has vowed to swim its length, from source to mouth. This enormous...

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Chapter 10: Mapping the Mekong Basin: Geopolitical Imaginations and Contestations

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pp. 145-156

Rivers are the arteries of the earth, sustaining life in all forms. In the past, many great civilizations flourished along the banks of the Mekong River. The glorious Angkor civilization is a vivid example indicating the crucial role of this great river...

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Chapter 11: Water Resources Development and Water Conflicts in Two Indian Ocean States

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pp. 157-170

The political relations between India and Pakistan remain consistently adversarial in the Indian Ocean Region. Yet the Indus Treaty signed in 1960 between India and Pakistan has endured despite the unabashedly hostile nature of the political relationship between the two states. There are other paradoxes. The World Bank and...

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Chapter 12: Struggles for River Security: Movements Against Dams

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pp. 171-184

Many political networks involved in environmental movements in India and Australia pursue concepts of sustainable development, environmental justice, and environmental security.1 It is important to understand that while some of these...

Part IV: Fire

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Chapter 13: Fire and Firepower: Energy Security in the Indian Ocean Region

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pp. 187-198

As “Westerners” traveling in Iran in what George W. Bush has called part of the “Axis of Evil,” what quickly became apparent to us was that Iranians, like all who dwell in the IOR, wrestle with the daily grind of securing access to the vital ingredients for survival. Most environmental issues in Iran are reminiscent of those...

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Chapter 14: Issues of Energy Security and the Indian Ocean Region

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pp. 199-209

Energy is likely to be at the heart of a major transformation of the global political scenario in the next few years. The post–Cold War world order that saw the fundamental changes in the mid-1980s is again on the threshold of a major change...

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Chapter 15: Gas Pipelines and Security in South and Southeast Asia: A Critical Perspective

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pp. 210-227

This chapter examines security issues relating to electricity-generating crossborder natural gas pipeline projects, but it does not, unlike much of the energy security literature, focus specifically on the energy requirements of the nation-states...

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Chapter 16: The Uranium Trade in the Indian Ocean Region

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pp. 228-240

It is an interesting irony that, on the one hand, apart from Southwest and South Asia, the Indian Ocean is surrounded by nuclear weapons–free zones (per the Antarctic Treaty, Treaty of Bangkok, Treaty of Pelindaha, and Treaty of Rarotonga)...

Part V: Wind

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Chapter 17: Wind: Air Security in the Indian Ocean Region

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pp. 243-257

In 2000, we were in New Delhi taking part in initial meetings leading to the formation of the Indian Ocean Research Group. Moving about Delhi can be a hazardous process. The air was thick with pollution. Many buses and auto-rickshaws ran on...

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Chapter 18: Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, and Development in Small Island States and Territories of the Indian Ocean

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pp. 258-272

Small island states and territories (SISTs) are of limited size, possess small populations and vulnerable economies, rely on limited local resource bases, and are environmentally fragile. Cumulating smallness (small land mass, small population, and small economy) and insularity (which implies geographical isolation and even spatial...

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Chapter 19: Climate Security: An Australian Perspective

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pp. 273-289

Wind, as one of the four elements, is an apt metaphor to discuss the concept of security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). While security often refers to military or economic concerns, climate security is, and will be, a matter of growing concern in the IOR in coming years. Regionally, “wind,” in its various forms as part of the phenomena...

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Chapter 20: Environmental Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Basin: A Comparative Analysis of the Indus Basin Treaty and the Mal

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pp. 290-302

Among the four elements of survival, air is the most mobile and difficult to physically constrain. The security of airsheds is thus acutely dependent on regional cooperation. This chapter will explore the emergence of a regional cooperation regime around air quality by comparing it to a more familiar water management...

Part VI: Conclusion

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Chapter 21: The Politics of Hope: Understanding Environmental Justice and Security in the Indian Ocean Region Within a Post-Colonialist Frame

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pp. 305-324

This book’s strength has been to bring together disparate voices across this vast region defined by its proximity to the Indian Ocean: the Ocean of the South. Obviously, there have been many different emphases which have emerged in the telling of the stories that litter the previous pages. In this final conclusion, however...

Notes on the Contributors

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pp. 325-328


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pp. 329-332

E-ISBN-13: 9780813545134
E-ISBN-10: 0813545137
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813543130
Print-ISBN-10: 0813543134

Page Count: 344
Illustrations: 5 photographs, 11 tables, 3 maps
Publication Year: 2008