Ecology And Violence: The Environmental Dimensions Of War
Research reported by Thomas Homer-Dixon characterizes five social effects that can significantly increase the likelihood of violence in the emerging world, effects that are far deeper than can be controlled by security forces: (1) constrained agricultural production, often in ecologically marginal regions; (2) constrained economic productivity, mainly affecting people who are highly dependent on environmental resources and who are ecologically and economically marginal; (3) migration of these affected people in search of better lives; (4) greater segmentation of society, usually along existing ethnic cleavages; and (5) disruption of institutions, especially the state.1 These kinds of social effects create tensions that can erupt in violent expression. It is difficult to envision how additional security forces will solve the embedded social problems that link violence with economic, social, ethnic, and even religious frustrations. This manuscript seeks to address these concerns. Part I elaborates ways in which these issues of violence manifest themselves in a globalized economy. Part II discusses the business implications of these tensions and suggests a way in which business can be a mediating actor to lessen these tensions. Part III concludes with a suggestion for a recharacterization of the corporation in a way to sensitize it to the ecological-mindedness necessary to address the potential issues of violence in societies. We propose sustainable peace as an aim to which businesses should orient their actions both for reasons of the good of avoiding the activities that contribute to the spilling of blood as well as for the good of sustainable economic enterprises, which are fostered by stable, peaceful relationships. Thus, business must do what it does best and address economic development, even in terms of the extraction of natural resources. But it must also be attentive to the rights of others, to the development of community and meaning, and to stop violence when it is likely. Given the dangers ecological stresses pose for the planet, it is hard to think of a more compelling reason to reorient business behavior.
|Date of creation:||01 May 2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: 734 763-5020
Fax: 734 763-5850
Web page: http://www.wdi.umich.edu
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2004-698. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Laurie Gendron)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.