Security and a Sustainable World

Don Clifton


This article explores how issues of security, conflict, violence and the military are considered in the sustainability literature. Despite these issues not being particularly well developed within the sustainability setting, various approaches are identified, critiqued, and compiled into a preliminary typology framed around reformist and transformational approaches to a sustainable world. The analysis also reveals how efforts to link military activity to concepts of economic, social, and environmental sustainability are creeping into sustainability narratives at the political level to justify continued militarism under the disguise of sustainability language. Footprint analysis is also used to support an argument that without decisive action, including a substantial reallocation of society's resources away from the military to sustainability focused initiatives, competition over natural resources is likely to intensify in the future and the long standing tradition of exploitation by the rich and powerful of the poor, future generations, and other species with humans share the planet, is likely to continue.

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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online) Email:

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