CMES Research Seminar – Rethinking Environmental Security. The Lessons Learned from the Middle East.

Kaveh Madani, Yale University, gives a talk on Rethinking Environmental Security: The Lessons Learned from the Middle East.


The attention to the topic of environmental security is on the rise in the 4D (Development, Disaster, Diplomacy and Defense) circles. We have enough evidence to have no doubt that the unsustainable use of natural resources, environmental degradation and climate change can lead to poverty, hunger, inequality, injustice, public health problems, unemployment, migration, tensions, violations of human rights, conflicts, terrorism, violence, and even wars.

Based on the conventional understanding of the environmental security concept, human/national security problems can be avoided by addressing environmental degradation and climate change.


Kaveh Madani is an environmental scientist, educator, and activist with expertise in environmental security and analysing complex human-nature systems. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies of Yale University and a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Environmental Policy (CEP) of Imperial College London.

Please visit CMES event page for more information about speakers, abstracts and registration for seminars. We hope to return to hybrid and physical seminars once the infection rate of COVID-19 has decreased.

CMES Research Seminar – The Missing Sense of Peace [in Syria and Yemen]. Diplomatic Approachment and Virtualization during the Covid-19 Lockdown.

Isabel Bramsen and Anine Hagemann present their article “The missing sense of peace [in Syria and Yemen]: Diplomatic approachment and virtualization during the COVID-19”


With the unprecedented COVID-lockdown in 2020, many peace diplomatic efforts turned virtual. This represented a temporary loss of many of the usual practices of peace diplomacy and provided an opportunity to examine virtual diplomacy as all that was lost; the importance of physical face-to-face meetings. Based on interviews with parties and mediators involved in the peace processes of Syria and Yemen we analyze the affordances of virtual and physical meetings respectively.

Particularly, virtual meetings condition peace diplomacy in terms of broadening accessibility, putting confidentiality at risk, allowing for higher frequency of meetings, often disrupting interaction, but also in some instances equalizing it. Physical, meetings on the other hand allow for bodily presence, for spending extended periods of time together, for reconciliatory interaction and creating informal space.

Most importantly, the transition to virtual meetings demonstrated the missing sense of peace, a notion we develop to capture the visceral dimension of physical meetings, conceptualized to include understanding, togetherness and trust. We argue that neither virtual nor physical diplomacy should be discarded and discuss strategies of how to work around the missing sense of peace in virtual diplomacy and the potential of hybrid solutions exploiting the potential of both formats.


Isabel Bramsen (PhD) is Associate Senior Lecturer at Lund University, Department of Political Science and postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC), University of Copenhagen. She has published several articles on nonviolent resistance, violence, conflict resolution, emotions and the micro-sociology of peace and conflict. She is co-author of International Konfliktløsning (Samfundslitteratur 2016) and Addressing International Conflict: Dynamics of Escalation, Continuation and Transformation (Routledge 2019).

Anine Hagemann is a PhD candidate at the University of Copenhagen, on leave from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her research focuses on peacebuilding, Protection of Civilians, women’s involvement in peace negotiations and Nordic peace collaboration. She is interested in practice-relevant research and is a Danish diplomat with extensive field experience. She is co-author of New Nordic Peace (Nordisk Ministerråd 2019).

Please visit CMES event page for more information about speakers, abstract and registration for seminar. We hope to return to hybrid and physical seminars once the infection rate of COVID-19 has decreased.