BIOSEC BITESIZE | Militarisation & Conservation

BIOSEC Bitesize series: Militarisation and Conservation. Taking a look at the key publications, blogs and podcasts that define our research.

image of militarisation

Through our ‘BIOSEC Bitesize’ series, we are looking back on the key publications, blogs and podcasts that define our research, offering you a curated reading, watching and listening list for each topic.

Our penultimate theme focus is…

Militarisation and Conservation

The militarisation of conservation refers to the use of military/paramilitary logics, practices, technologies, and personnel in the name of protecting biodiversity and spaces of conservation. This is often referred to as ‘green militarisation’.

These approaches are part of the history of conservation, but militarisation has intensified in the past decade; this is in part because of the sense of urgency surrounding the escalation in the commercial poaching of wildlife. Our work critically examines the increasingly militarised turn in conservation.

These critiques stem from concerns about the far-reaching consequences of militarisation; these include the promotion and extension of violence and use of force, the negative impacts on human rights and people who live in and around protected areas, and a failure to address the root causes of illicit hunting and biodiversity use, thereby diverting attention away from more mundane, but no less important, conservation priorities.

Our research uses in-depth case studies and global analyses to interrogate questions concerning the social, economic, and ecological impacts and sustainability of militarised approaches to biodiversity protection.

Team members

Rosaleen Duffy | Principal Investigator, Professor of International Politics –

Francis Massé | Post-Doctoral Researcher –


Policy Brief | The risks of using security approaches in tackling the illegal wildlife trade.’ Author: Rosaleen Duffy

Policy Brief | ‘Supporting community based approaches to reduce poaching’. Author: Francis Massé

Zine | ‘What happens in conservation if we define the illegal wildlife trade as a global security threat?’

Zine | ‘Law Enforcement

Published papers | Political Geography Special Issue: ‘Conservation in Violent Environments’. Authors: Esther Marijnen, Lotje de Vries & Rosaleen Duffy

Published papers | Annals of the American Association of Geographers: ‘Conservation Law Enforcement: Policing Protected Areas’. Author: Francis Massé

Comment | ‘The Ethics of Violent Conservation’. Authors: Rosaleen Duffy, Dan Brockington

Short film | Militarisation and Conservation