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Seeking environmental security in Ukraine: Reform in selected cases

Smith, Sally Jean; (2003) Seeking environmental security in Ukraine: Reform in selected cases. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis argues that environmental security fits within the schema of traditional national security concerns and requires a similarly focused definition as for other security strategies for empirical testing. Looking at Ukraine, this thesis tests the hypothesis that without these targeted aims that are aided by integrated policy outside the security agenda, the aims are unachievable. With the difficult environmental, political, and economic conditions in Ukraine, it has been possible to investigate complex cases of environmental security building and reform. Moreover, in its transition from a Soviet republic to an independent state in the 1990s, Ukraine's stability has also been significant for European and international security. Using empirical evidence, this thesis attempts to uncover the processes involved in attempts to build environmental security in Ukraine. To do this, three cases in Ukraine are chosen, each addressing a different environmental vulnerability. While recognizing the broad spectrum of activities that relate to environmental security efforts, each case study includes information as it concerns the respective threat on domestic legislation, domestic politics, economic reforms, aid from international organizations, and foreign relations. These cases address different physical aspects of environmental conditions in Ukraine (air, water, soil) and each case also corresponds to a different level of political relations (international, regional, state). Although the accident at Chornobyl might seem to be an ideal case for environmental security studies, the 1986 tragedy is intentionally avoided because of the volume of work that has already been completed on the topic and the author's interest in adding new material to studies on Ukraine. Each case tests the hypothesis that environmental security requires integrated policy support in two ways. First, the causes behind the ecological vulnerabilities are explored. In studying the cause of the threat, we can see how it did not develop purely out of mismanaged environmental policy, but was a result of misdirected policy in other sectors as well. Thus, we would not expect its resolution purely based on new environmental policy. Second, the hypothesis is tested by assessing the stabilization, abatement, or worsening of the problem under conditions of partial or complete reforms in relevant areas of Ukrainian policy and infrastructure. In this manner, we can judge the importance of conditions in other sectors for determining national environmental security threats.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Seeking environmental security in Ukraine: Reform in selected cases
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Health and environmental sciences; Ukraine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099931
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