Ursula Oswald Spring

Ursula Oswald Spring
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México | UNAM · Regional Center for Multidisciplinary Research

PhD

About

139
Publications
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1,407
Citations
Citations since 2017
58 Research Items
792 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200

Publications

Publications (139)
Article
El objetivo es analizar la migración climática desde Mesoamérica, integrando factores sistémicos de pobreza, pandemia, desastres ambientales, dilema de supervivencia, inseguridad y violencia dentro de una perspectiva de género. Desastres climáticos han aumentado los riesgos sistémicos y generado procesos en cascada por insuficientes políticas guber...
Chapter
Confronted with the uncertainty of climate change impacts and the complexity of urban development in the Global South, megacities and urban agglomeration in coastal areas are at high risk of losing lives, wealth and infrastructure. The present chapter explores the Talanoa Dialogue to reduce impacts and increase peacebuilding in regions where climat...
Book
In this book 25 authors from the Global South (19) and the Global North (6) address conflicts, security, peace, gender, environment and development. Four parts cover I) peace research epistemology; II) conflicts, families and vulnerable people; III) peacekeeping, peacebuilding and transitional justice; and IV) peace and education. Part I deals with...
Article
Full-text available
El análisis de este artículo relaciona la violencia existente en América Latina con el modelo de desarrollo impuesto, que ha deteriorado el bienestar de las mayorías y su salud humana. El desarrollo de este modelo ha creado inseguridad alimentaria, contaminado aguas prístinas, destruido selvas y bosques y ha forzado a millones de personas a abandon...
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The globalisation process, characterised by instant world communications, financial flows and growing trade interdependence in the hands of multinational enterprises, has increasingly homogenised the development paradigm and consumption.
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The end of the Cold War coarsely exposed North-South differences (World Bank 1995). In the South it revealed the disparity between social classes (CEPAL 2003; Oxfam 2017), ethnic and religious groups (Oswald 2004; Bensasson 2018), urban and rural areas (CEPAL 2003), and especially gender-based discrimination (UNFEM 2003; CEPAL 2003; WB 2014).
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When more knowledge on the impacts of climate change had emerged, new questions about its impact on the environment and the people were developed.
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Water is crucial for environment and ecosystem services, human survival, productive activities and cultural services.
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Human well-being, human development and peaceful coexistence require healthy ecosystems and ecosystem services. However, humankind has produced environmental pollution, water scarcity, climate change and soil depletion. Agriculture, cities and tourist centres have destroyed forests, grasslands and mangroves. Rivers were dammed for energy production...
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Entering soon the third decade of the new millennium, and facing changes on a global scale, a distinct geopolitical order has emerged in which the East-West conflict has disintegrated and the North-South divide intensified.
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Ecology has the same origin as economy and means in Greek οἶκος (house or environment) and λογία (study of).
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Climate change is severely affecting the availability of water and its quality. Therefore it represents a direct challenge to health. Not only the water-born, but also the vector and temperature-related diseases are challenging the existing health system and safe water supply. Thus, water and health security have progressively been challenged prima...
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Why do more than 24,000 people—basically children—die each day from hunger and why only in Sub-Saharan Africa has the number of undernourished children grown from 29 to 37 million during the last decade (UNICEF in The state of the world’s children 2015: reimagine the future: innovation for every child. UNICEF, New York, 2015a)?
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This chapter addresses migration from Mexico to the USA and internally. It explores first the environmental-induced migration (EIM) in Mexico and later focuses on rural areas, where changing environmental conditions have produced environmental-forced migration or environmentally induced migration.
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Peace and security explore key elements of human life, where peace (Boulding in Cultures of Peace. Syracuse University Press, New York, 2000), future, nature, spirituality (King in The Autobiography by Martin Luther King. Warner Books, New York, 1998) and well-being link up with a comprehensive way of nonviolent conflict resolution (Gandhi in Ghand...
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Among the major interconnected risks they named extreme climate events along with the failure of climate mitigation and adaptation.
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During the last few decades, scientific and popular literature about internal and international water conflicts has increased (Westing 2013a, b; Gleick 2004; Homer-Dixon 1999, 2000), and international organisations (UNESCO 2016; UNESCO-IHP 2001; UNESCO-WWAP 2012; WB 2012; IUCN: Dore et al. 2012) have also developed different tools to prevent and to...
Chapter
This chapter carries the arguments of the previous and subsequent chapters on ecology and global environmental change (Chap. 5), on peace and security (Chap. 8), on gender security (Chap. 10) and on the author’s proposed HUGE security concept (Chap. 11), further linking her scientific and action-orientated interests in questions, concepts and theor...
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Environmental security analyses the threats to the environment posed by humankind, communities, state activities and nations.
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These texts on gender, peace, security and environmental problems were written based on my concern about an unequal and unsustainable development process during the past six decades, when the history of the earth moved from the Holocene to the Anthropocene (Crutzen in Nature 415(6867):23, 2002). The following chapters were influenced by theoretical...
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Since 2015, the drop in global oil prices has affected government spending in Mexico. During the years of high international oil prices the Government did not take any preventive measures to reduce the national debt, invest in infrastructure or keep reserves for critical years.
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Between now and 2050 the world population will grow by one third from 7.8 to 9.8 million people, which will require 70% more food with the present conditions of consumption.
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As the relationship between men and women shows complex interlinkages and is partially related to societal security, threats are not always perceived as purely confrontational.
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On the eve of a new millennium we are facing a globalisation process which embraced, for the first time in human history, what could be termed all of life’s phenomena. This process continues to go beyond those aspects, which are strictly productive: the economy, technology, scientific progress and the relations of a predetermined productive process...
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Within a consolidated system of patriarchy, the roles of woman and their social position and behaviour were created for and by men. Today men still dominate and exclude women, so the parity score of women in the Global Performance Index (GPI) is only 68% compared with that of men (WEF 2017: 7).
Article
Full-text available
Policy science has developed various approaches, such as agenda-setting and goal-setting theory, aimed at explaining the emergence of policy shifts and behavioural changes. The 2030 Agenda sets an ambitious vision for human development in times of global environmental change and makes for an interesting subject to study the explanatory power of the...
Book
Earth at Risk in the 21st Century offers critical interdisciplinary reflections on peace, security, gender relations, migration and the environment, all of which are threatened by climate change, with women and children affected most. Deep-rooted gender discrimination is also a result of the destructive exploitation of natural resources and the pol...
Book
Full-text available
El cambio climático por influencia humana es un fenómeno de afectación global, el cual es abordado en la presente obra mediante un enfoque transversal, en el que convergen múltiples puntos de vista en diversas áreas de conocimiento, tanto en ciencias exactas como sociales, que buscan destacar la importancia de la gobernanza para enfrentar dicha pro...
Chapter
In addition to increasing extreme events due to climate change, losses of ecosystem services, soil depletion, water scarcity, and air pollution, in most emerging countries the importation of basic food items, especially corn, soya beans, and wheat, has increased. These countries often purchase genetic modified grains which might affect their biodiv...
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Climate change is severely affecting Mexico and Central America (IPCC 2014a) and has caused different impacts on men and women, regions and social classes. Several studies have shown that during disasters more women die than men. Why do the Red Cross, the World Bank and insurance companies only report the global number of deaths and damage, while o...
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This biography is a subjective account of my memories about my life experiences and scientific training that have shaped my intellectual development. They have influenced my commitment to fight for a more just and equitable society for women and men and for a more peaceful world. Three continents forged my intellectual experiences, and I have recei...
Chapter
Food serves three basic functions for most living beings. Firstly, food creates energy. Firstly, food creates energy required in the absorption and translocation of nutrients necessary for growth, sustenance, and biological and physical activities of the organism. Secondly, food supplies reducing agents indispensable in synthetic processes inside c...
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Water covers 41 per cent of the Earth’s surface. However, only 3 per cent is freshwater and 68.7 per cent of this is frozen in polar ice caps and glaciers; 30.1 per cent is located in deep aquifers and 0.9 per cent in other conditions. Thus, only 0.3 per cent is surface water, of which 87 per cent is in lakes and dams, 11 per cent in wetlands and 2...
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Engendered-sustainable peace has rarely been discussed from a critical perspective and has been even less analysed by peace researchers (Oswald Spring 2016). The question is why has this been the case? To understand the lack of visibility of gender and feminist studies in peace research, we must go back to the socially developed system of power, do...
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The research project Food System and Society The Mexican Case studied were the following questions: 1. Why are many millions of peasants and urban workers hungry or malnourished in a world of plenty? Why do periodic famines exist in different parts of the world despite the fact that elsewhere half of the food is thrown away? 2. What are the mechani...
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This text offers suggestions on how to overcome the divide between Europe and Latin America. On the one hand, it deals with the link between Europe and other globalised countries, and it particularly proposes several economic reflections in terms of competitiveness of production, pricing and quality vis á vis North America and Europe. On the other...
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Mexico’s domestic market in the late 1970s was characterised by a struggle between private commercial capital and state capital in which transnational investments and technology were also involved. On the one hand, merchants requested price liberalisation; on the other, consumers wanted food prices to be controlled to protect the consumption of the...
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These chapters offer reflections on my scientific work and my life experience, first in post-colonial Africa in the 1960s, later the critical psychological re-elaboration of several traumatic experiences in Africa during the student revolt in Europe in 1968 and finally my field research, political activities and social involvement with bottom-up wo...
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The world faces social and environmental crises together with an increasing risk of extreme events (IPCC 2012). These include economic crises, population growth, climate change, water scarcity and pollution, food crises (FAO 2000, 2016), soil depletion, erosion and desertification, urbanisation with slum development, rural-urban and international m...
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The hypothesis of this chapter is that organic green agriculture is granting food sovereignty to countries, to urban dwellers and small-scale producers, while the productivity life sciences paradigm and green revolution have increased malnutrition (obesity) and required artificial components (vitamins, proteins, minerals) to control the deteriorati...
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On the eve of a new millennium we were facing a globalisation process which embraced, for the first time in human history, what could be termed all of life’s phenomena. This process continues to go beyond those aspects which are strictly productive: the economy, technology, scientific progress and the relations of a predetermined productive process...
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Sustainable development requires a deep understanding of peace and security that is centred on human beings. It includes a gender perspective of equality and equity, embedded in environmental concerns. This human, gender and environmental peace and security (Oswald Spring 2009; see book PAHSEP 18) – ‘HUGE’ – effort should be undertaken by millions...
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The Mexican food system was dramatically affected by the periodic crises with high inflation and dangerous devaluations of the peso against the dollar. The Mexican Government promoted a popular system of basic products in rural and urban areas, to make at least the most basic goods available even in the most remote areas. They also regularly publis...
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In the early 1990s more than three billion humans had lived in poverty, often in absolute poverty in a world characterised by a planned, extravagant and destructive consumerism. According to the so-called illusion of development, which would bring the world to prosperity and well-being, poverty has increased during the past three decades. This “myt...
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Oswald Spring, Úrsula (1978). “La Monopolización del Mercado Interno en México: el Caso de la Papa” [The Monopolization of the Internal Market in Mexico: The Case of the Potatoes], Comercio Exterior, Vol. 28, No. 11, pp. 1349–1358.
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In Mexico during the 1960s, population growth, rapid and uncontrolled urbanisation, and the stagnation of agricultural production with an increase of imported basic food, resulted in a severe crisis in the agricultural sector. Furthermore, land reform had come to an end. There was no land available for distribution, and political unrest had further...
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The complex task of studying the processes of extraction, supply, distribution, use, pollution and water sanitation in a central and the smallest state in Mexico, called Tlaxcala, included an interdisciplinary approach which analysed the natural, social and political factors in a specific time and space. An appropriate methodological approach for a...
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All the different theoretical and disciplinary imputes I got in my life tried to overcome the prevailing constraints of science in theoretical, conceptual and empirical respects and to collectively experiment with research to understand better the complex socio-environmental reality. There was also increasing concern about the discrimination of wom...
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Climate change is the greatest threat to people, their survival, the conservation of ecosystems and their ecosystem services. New scientific evidence reviewed in the fifth assessment report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2013a, 2014a, b) confirmed that the average global temperature rise is unequivocal and thus supports the asse...
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The process of globalisation, which has been characterised by growing socio-economic imbalances among continents, nations and areas within any country, triggered new theoretical impulses for regionalism. During the bipolar world system during the Cold War, from a traditional approach a new regionalism emerged with an ideological background, whereby...
Book
This book aims to initiate among students and other readers critical and interdisciplinary reflections on key problems concerning development, gender relations, peace and environment, with a special emphasis on North-South relations. This volume offers a selection of the author's research in different parts of the world during 50 years of contribut...
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This chapter analyses the risks of extreme hydrometeorological events with the concept of dual vulnerability: environmental and social vulnerability, which focuses on people affected by global environmental change and climate change. The understanding of dual vulnerability orientates the policy to promote resilience that may mitigate impacts of ext...
Book
This book analyses the war against drugs, violence in streets, schools and families, and mining conflicts in Latin America. It examines the nonviolent negotiations, human rights, peacebuilding and education, explores security in cyberspace and proposes to overcome xenophobia, white supremacy, sexism, and homophobia, where social inequality increase...
Article
Full-text available
Este artículo explora un concepto de seguridad energética sustentable fincada en el bienestar de la sociedad mexicana y que integra los compromisos asumidos en el Acuerdo de París ante la Convención Marco de Cambio Climático de la onu (cnumcc), en 2015 y ratificado en septiembre de 2016 por el Senado. Analiza el concepto de seguridad energética en...
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This chapter analyses the security nexus between water, energy, food and biodiversity (WEF&B). The research question is, how could the nexus between WEF&B security be improved in a country with high environmental and social vulnerability, and which is seriously affected by climate change and organized crime? After a short conceptual review of WEF&B...
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This is the first of two volumes based on peer reviewed and thoroughly revised scientific presentations, most of them initially discussed during the sessions of the Ecology and Peace Commission (EPC) at the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) 50th Anniversary Conference in Istanbul in August 2014.
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The processes of globalization and global environmental change have created increasing socioeconomic imbalances among continents, nations and social classes within the countries. Twenty-five years ago, with the end of the Cold War, the bipolar division of the world has been overcome and in several parts of the world regional cooperation among devel...
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This chapter examines a transition process in a river basin in the central part of Mexico that is highly affected by climate change, social deterioration and the drugs war. The Yautepec River Basin is particularly prone to climate impacts because of its abrupt slopes, numerous affluents, and high population density in its floodplain, which is frequ...
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This chapter examines the evolution of the peace concept from its understanding as a negative concept towards a positive, structural, sustainable, and engendered peace. The concept of a ‘sustainable-engendered peace’ refers to the structural factors related to long-term violence, deeply embedded in the patriarchal system and characterized by author...
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This Handbook links together four social science research programmes—peace studies, security studies, development studies and environmental studies—which have had only limited exchanges on sustainable development, human security and sustainable peace. The Handbook connects these three concepts within the research paradigm of ‘sustainability transit...
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This chapter presents the key messages of this Handbook on Sustainability Transition and Sustainable Peace found in the previous texts by the sixty authors, arranged into ten parts. They focus on I) moving towards sustainability transition; II) aiming for sustainable peace; III) meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century: demographic imbala...
Book
Full-text available
In the Handbook on Sustainability Transition and Sustainable Peace 60 authors from many disciplines and from 18 countries on five continents examine in ten parts: Moving towards Sustainability Transition; Aiming at Sustainable Peace; Meeting Challenges of the 21st Century: Demographic Imbalances, Temperature Rise and the Climate–Conflict Nexus; Ini...
Chapter
Water security (WS) evolved toward the protection against floods, droughts, plagues, environmental services protection, health preservation, and conflict negotiation. The part of human and gender security deepening, as well as environmental security proposing a great (HUGE) security. This overcomes the political-military vision where water was used...
Book
Addressing global environmental challenges from a peace ecology perspective, the present book offers peer-reviewed texts that build on the expanding field of peace ecology and applies this concept to global environmental challenges in the Anthropocene. Hans Günter Brauch (Germany) offers a typology of time and turning points in the 20th century; Ju...
Book
This book presents peer-reviewed texts from the International Peace Research Association’s Ecology and Peace Commission: M.I. Abazie-Humphrey (Nigeria) reviews “Nigeria’s Home-Grown DDR Programme”; C. Christian and H. Speight (USA) analyse “Water, Cooperation, and Peace in the Palestinian West Bank”; T. Galaviz (Mexico) discusses “The Peace Process...
Article
This chapter analyses water management in Mexico in the context of global environmental change (GEC) and dual environmental and social vulnerability. The research questions are as follows: How can Mexico overcome the present unequal access of water without further destroying the precarious water and food security, and how could small-scale farmers...
Book
Full-text available
*Addresses linkages between sustainability, transition and sustainable peace *Focuses on peace, environmental education, community-based ecological restoration and ability expectation *Underlines the need to combat trafficking of women and children by transnational crime rings in Nigeria, a national security threat This book has peer-reviewed chapt...
Chapter
Given the paralysis in global multilateral environmental negotiations and a lack of determination among the heads of states and governments of both the G8 and the G20 countries, alternative strategies, policies and measures towards a sustainability transition are proposed that actively involve civil society and the economic sector. Starting with ge...
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This introductory chapter reviews the conceptualization of peace and ecology and the efforts in the scientific literature to link both areas. The authors expand upon the conceptualization of peace since the 1980s and the widening of the ecology concept from the natural to the social sciences, and then discuss linkages between peace and different ec...
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Background This article develop analyses water security in Mexico, a country where global environmental change requires social, political and economic actors to protect natural resources and ecosystem services in order to reduce the tension between anthropogenic demands and natural availability. The paper asks: How can overexploitation and inequali...
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Full-text available
Definition and Scope of Human Security There are many definitions of human security, which vary according to discipline. This chapter defines human security, in the context of climate change, as a condition that exists when the vital core of human lives is protected, and when people have the freedom and capacity to live with dignity. In this assess...
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This article investigates the impact of women's double vulnerability, the social and environmental vulnerability that makes them household heads, and the processes that enable them to overcome vulnerability and empower themselves at the local level. An empirical study conducted in the Yautepec river basin in the state of Morelos in Mexico explores...
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Natural disasters related to hydro-meteorological events have increased during the last few decades, both in frequency and severity. Mexico is heavily exposed to climate change, but has also suffered in the past from climate variability (Blümel, 2009). The new risks oblige the government to develop mitigation processes, while the affected people ar...
Chapter
This chapter deals with international migration and its geopolitical repercussions between Mexico and the USA. Climate-induced migration (CIM) or environmentally- forced migration (EFM) is not a new phenomenon, but the different sociopolitical conditions may pose security risks for both countries; the USA and Mexico share the longest border between...
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Full-text available
Executive Summary Actions that range from incremental steps to transformational changes are essential for reducing risk from weather and climate extremes (high agreement, robust evidence). [8.6, 8.7] Incremental steps aim to improve efficiency within existing technological, governance, and value systems, whereas transformation may involve alteratio...
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Full-text available
This Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report (IPCC-SREX) explores the challenge of understanding and managing the risks of climate extremes to advance climate change adaptation. Extreme weather and climate events, interacting with exposed and vulnerable human and natural systems, can lead to disasters. Changes in the frequency and...
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This article explores the health impacts on highly social vulnerable people affected by global environmental change and asks how diverse conceptualizations of health security may create different policy responses at national and international level to the changing natural and human conditions. Health security is not understood in the narrow militar...
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Highlights ► Water security promotes the restoration of aquatic systems through sustainable development, political stability and protection of humans from water-related hazards. ► Unsustainable water management in megacities is critical for citizens, but especially for slum dwellers, threatened by lack of safe water, subsidence, and in the case of...
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Full-text available
Water use and management is of crucial importance for everyday life and also for productive processes, as well as for the conservation and recovery of ecosystems. In only two decades (1990–2010), water consumption on the planet has doubled. In Mexico, due to population growth and agricultural and industrial production, water availability per person...
Chapter
Water is crucial for human survival, productive processes, and the ecosystem. It constitutes between 50 and 90 per cent of the structure of all living organisms. Owing to its appearance from outer space, the Earth is called ‘the blue planet’, given that 70 per cent of its surface is covered by water, although hydrologic resources only represent 0.0...
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The variability in space and time of natural processes - especially the weather - together with market uncertainties and the globalization of the economy are factors that have led decision-makers to seek an integrated approach to facing the problems of water management and to integrating divergent interests. Such an approach offers the potential fo...
Chapter
Discrimination represents a harmful as well as an unfair treatment of a person or a group, based on prejudice. Therefore it is related to a ‘rejection process’ of the other, emphasizing critical attributes such as race, sex, age, gender, social and marital status, class and caste, migrant or refugee status, religion, incapacity or handicap. These a...
Chapter
This chapter argues that a fundamental change in earth history is under way which requires a rethinking of the relationship between humankind and nature, including the political realm and international relations, that makes geopolitical approaches in the Hobbesian tradition obsolete. The Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen coined for this new period of ear...
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After the first agricultural revolution ten thousand years ago, people have gradually increased the yield by crossing different varieties of crops. As a result of multiple adaptations five basic food crops have emerged: rice in Asia, wheat in the Fertile Crescent (originally from Ethiopia), maize and beans from Mesoamerica, and potatoes from South...
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In the Anthropocene era of earth and human history we are confronted with opposite : Business-as-usual in a Hobbesian world where economic and strategic interests and behaviour prevail leading to a major crisis of humankind, in inter-state relations and destroying the Earth as the habitat for humans and ecosystems putting the survival of the vulner...
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This third volume of the Global Environmental and Human Security Handbook for the Anthropocene (GEHSHA) focuses on issues of Coping with Global Environmental Change that are contributing to a reconceptualization of security in the 21st century that has evolved since the end of the Cold War and has significantly been influenced by the globalization...
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This chapter addresses manifold interactions between the natural environment and humankind affecting the land (or often used synonymously as ground and soil) as the provider of ecosystem services, water storage and food for living organisms (plants, animals, micro-organisms, and human beings).
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This policy-focused Global Environmental and Human Security Handbook for the Anthropocene (GEHSHA) addresses new security threats, challenges, vulnerabilities and risks posed by global environmental change and disasters. In 5 forewords, 5 preface essays and 95 peer reviewed chapters, 164 authors from 48 countries analyse in 10 parts concepts of mil...
Book
Water resources in Mexico are threatened by scarcity, pollution and climate change. In two decades water consumption doubled, producing water stress in dry seasons and semi-arid and arid regions. Water stress rises due to physical and economic stress. In seven parts a multidisciplinary team analyzes hydrological processes in basins and their intera...
Book
This policy-focused Global Environmental and Human Security Handbook for the Anthropo-cene (GEHSHA) addresses new security threats, challenges, vulnerabilities and risks posed by global environmental change and disasters. In 6 forewords, 5 preface essays 95 peer reviewed chapcountries analyse in 10 parts concepts of military and political hard secu...
Article
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Article
This article was submitted without an abstract, please refer to the full-text PDF file.
Chapter
As a result of a process of “regressive globalization” (Kaldor/Anheier/Glasius 2003; Oswald 2008b) and of an increasing concentration of wealth in few hands, the economic gap has widened between North and South and within the countries between rich and poor, which has often affected the survival of social groups.

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Projects (2)
Project
To understand the Mexican Energy Reform in a historical and political context and to frame the potential of renewable energy. To have a look on the proposed trilnational energy integration USA, Canada and Mexico