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“Human and Environmental Security: An Agenda for Change” by Dodds & Pippard


Human & Environmental Security and Agenda for Change is a powerful collection of essays that reveals the problems of human and environmental insecurity nowadays. Felix Dodds and Tim Pippard are the two editors, who make an attempt to recognize the most crucial issues concerning human security and use the ideas of prominent authors to prove to the reader that this question is worth paying attention to.

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The book answers the question of what may be done to improve the already spoiled security and how global governance may influence human development. Being a mettlesome activist and futurist, Felix Dodds offers the promotion of new ideas to unite the possibilities of different stakeholders with the United Nations’ intentions on the basis of the Report of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change introduced during the Rio Conference (Dodds and Pippard 1).

Dodds’ cooperation with Tim Pippard results in the creation of a book Human & Environmental Security and Agenda for Change and proves that many governments have already made the mistake to offer an agenda for engaging more stakeholders in foundations’ building and turned a number of environmental issues into serious security dilemmas.

Structure of the book

It seems to be a difficult task to gather 19 different thoughts and introduce them as one complete idea that encourages the reader to think about the future, understand the question of human and environmental security, and consider possible global challenges and realities. The structure of the book is properly chosen and does not confuse the reader, follows clear logical conjunctions, and elaborates on one issue by means of another.

The essays are grouped into three logical parts: Peace and Security, Sustainable Human Development, and Global Governance. It is also supported by an introductory part with the main goals and ideas identified. At the beginning of the book, the editors provide a brief still informative overview of all authors, whose essays are introduced in the book. The reader gets a wonderful possibility to learn better the experience of the experts and understand why a particular concept is chosen for consideration.

The authors of the book admit that “the objective of promoting the conservation and sustainable use of environmental resources for the betterment of mankind will only be achieved through international cooperation on a broad scale” (Dodds and Pippard 1). This phrase prepares the reader to the fact that much work has to be done to promote human security and introduce a powerful agenda for change. It is not enough to take one particular problem and think about how to solve it.

It is necessary to identify a challenge, touch upon all aspects that may influence its development, and mind the urgency of globalization that cannot be neglected. This is why the editors of the book divide the essays of the experts into three logical parts to promote human and environmental security by means of peaceful relations, human development, and global governance.

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Part One of the book is a conversation about the ideas of international peace and the peculiarities of the war on terror that takes place nowadays. It begins with the work by David Hannay, who introduces ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ types of threats to peace and security. Timoshenko admits that this author mentions all threats in rather a “marginal manner, and only in the narrow context of post-Kyoto arrangements” (111).

Therefore, it is hard to create some general idea about the issue under consideration, but it is possible to get the first impression about the problems of human security (e.g. poverty, pandemic disease, or environmental degradation). Other essays of this section describe different aspects of the same problem. For example, Liden and Enestrom say about the role of the UN in peacebuilding, Richmond and Franks discuss the future of human security through the war on terror, Hobbs thinks about the improvement of the climate of nuclear disarmament in New Zealand in particular, and Heyzer focuses on the role of women in the peacebuilding process and their attitudes to global justice.

Part Two aims at discussing the conditions of sustainable human development. Each author introduces from one to three issues that may contribute to the development considering human and environmental improvements. Pronk offers the creation of “the intergovernmental machinery and the relevant global institutions” but does not leave the process of poverty targets’ implementation to experts, bureaucrats, and diplomats (90).

This part of the book helps to understand that such minor concepts like climate change, water use, migration, and even food security may be combined into one big topic and define the level of human security. For example, Benn’s essay shows how access to the western markets may change the attitude of women from Sri Lanka and cause violence and social tensions within a short period of time. Reading this part is a chance to catch some slight connections between the issues, which seem to be rather controversial or have nothing in common with each other. The editors perfectly combine the ideas that help to understand the global nature of human security.

Finally, Part Three is devoted to the ideas of global governance. Talking about governance in a global format, it is impossible to neglect the role of the United States of America in human security. This is why it is not a surprise to see that the author of the first essay in this part, Jim Garrison, identifies America as a global leader. The events of 9/11 have considerably knocked down the country and caused a number of unpleasant and unpredictable emotions and outcomes.

Even the question of global security has been raised. The country’s ability to solve problems, overcome challenges, and improve living conditions turned it into a great leader in the world arena. At the same time, the power available made America unable to develop equal dialogues with other countries and decide whether America or the United Nations should be the center of the international relations. At the end of this part, the editor of the book, Felix Dodds, introduces his own essay about the ideas of democracy and defines the world, people live in, as uncertain.


In general, the book turns out to be a powerful source of information about the different elements of human security, environmental problems, and solutions that have to be made to involve stakeholders in developing foundations and promoting human security as the main goal for all nations. The book teaches that such diversities like ethnicity, race, religion, gender, or age should not prevent the development of peace on the earth, and people still have all chances to avoid environmental degradation if certain precautionary measures are taken.

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Works Cited

Dodds, Felix and Pippard, Tim. Human and Environmental Security: An Agenda for Change. London, UK: Earthscan, 2013. Print.

Pronk, Fan. “Globalisation, Poverty and Security.” Human and Environmental Security: An Agenda for Change. Ed. Felix Dodds and Tim Pippard. London, UK: Earthscan, 2013. 71-91. Print.

Timoshenko, Alexandre. “Human and Environmental Security: An Agenda for Change – Edited by Felix Dodds and Tim Pippard.” RECIEL: Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law 16.1 (2007): 111-114. Print.

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