Project title: 

Climate Change and National Security in Comparative Focus


Project duration:

8 Weeks



States around the world increasingly recognise the national security implications of climate change. By one assessment (Scott 2015), climate change features in the national security strategy documents of more than 70% of states developing such strategies. But these states also understand and approach this threat in different ways. This project (in support of an ARC-funded major research project conducted by A/Prof McDonald, 2019-2022) aims to map different national approaches to climate security, developing an account of how different states view: the nature of threat; the best means of response; and if/ how they institutionalise this climate security perspective.


Expected outcomes and deliverables:

The student in question will locate and examine national security strategies of key states identifying climate change as a security threat: the USA, UK, France, Germany and Sweden. Beginning with the most recent national security strategy statements from these countries, they will then- time permitting- examine the preceding national security strategy document to assess any changes in these states’ approach.


As such, this student will develop skills in primary research broadly, and more specifically in comparative case analysis and methods of discourse analysis. It is anticipated that the student will develop a short written report summarising key findings. This work will be acknowledged in key outputs associated with the broader ARC project, and A/Prof McDonald will advise on a publication target (if suitable) for the written report.


Suitable for:

This project is particularly suitable for students studying and researching in the area of political science and international relations broadly, and international security and/or environmental change.

Primary Supervisor:


Associate Professor Matt McDonald


Further info:

If you are interested in this opportunity please contact A/Prof McDonald at in advance of the application deadline for further information or to indicate an intention to apply.