Environmental Theories in International Relations

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THE DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE,
FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES.

COURSE: POS 741 (THEORIES OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS)
TOPIC: ENVIRONMENTAL THEORIES
GROUP MEMBERS:
(1)OSAYIMWEN OSAHON GEORGE
(2)IBIYEMI ENOCH OLAWALE
(3)JOLAOSO AYOMIPO OPEYEMI

TO BE SUBMITTED TO: DR E.U IDACHABA

April, 2013 INTRODUCTION Environmental theory, this approach refers to the research area in which scholars of political theory use their conceptual tools in an effort to better understand the relationship between human individuals or communities and their natural environment, to identify the values and ideas that have shaped and continue to structure the way that humans interact with the natural world or to articulate vision of how politics might define and help realize an ecologically sustainable world .This approach attempts to explain how human beings, individually or collectively behave in relation to nature or to other human beings can most usefully be anchored in the study of the evolution of the ecosystem society interface. Using human populations and their biological and ecological circumstances as a starting point, a theoretical framework can be developed that grounds international relations theory in environmental realities. Environmental theory is neither a method nor a well defined political agenda. Scholars in the field utilize a wide variety of existing methodologies and in the pursuit of various goals. Like an ecosystem, its strength lies in diversity and there has not yet emerged as dominant approach to this young research programme. Binding together the various scholarship in environmental theory is a belief that environmental problems are at least in part a product of the social and political ideas of modern western societies.(Steve Vanderheiden, University of Colorado,U.S.A)

THE ROLE OF ENVIRONMENT IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS The role of environing factors include the physical milieu (geography) and the social milieu (culture),as conditioners of political behaviour, has attracted major theoretical interest for many generations. Especially until the end of the World War II, the study of international relations drew heavily on geography as an explanation for state behaviour. States were said to be advantaged, or handicapped by geographic location and circumstances. With the dawn of the nuclear age and the development of postindustrial industrial societies, environing factors notable the role of geography diminished in salience. Nuclear weapons capable of intercontinental range greatly diminished whatever security had been derived from geographic location. By the same token, postindustrial societies depend more on access to information-based technologies and intellectual capabilities than on physical control of territory containing natural resources such as coal and iron, nevertheless became the world's second largest economy based on cutting-edge technologies. Despite its remoteness from Europe, Asia, the United States and European-Asian states became equally vulnerable to a nuclear strike delivered by intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching their targets within minutes.

Furthermore, according to the view of Aristotle, he stated that people and the environment are inseparable and that they are affected both by geographical circumstances and by political institutions. Location near the sea stimulated the commercial activity on which the city-state was based; temperate climate favourable affected the development of national character, human energy and intellect. Jean Bodin in the late sixteenth century also maintained that climatic circumstances influence national characteristics as well as the foreign policies of state. According to Bodin, the extremes of northern and temperate climates...
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