Climate Change and the Bay of Bengal: Evolving Geographies of Fear and Hope

Climate Change and the Bay of Bengal: Evolving Geographies of Fear and Hope
Date of publication:  2015
Publisher:  ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute
Number of pages:  239
Code:  BM502
Soft Cover
ISBN: 9789814459587
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Shaun Lin, Political Geography, 63:2018.

Writing in this journal a few years ago, Dalby (2016) argued that how we understand climate change has important geographical dimensions, and addressing both the empirical questions of how climate change might cause conflict and human insecurity and the larger questions of how climate is represented in political discourse and policy discussions. Sanjay Chaturvedi and Vijay Sakhuja's book Climate Change and the Bay of Bengal: Evolving Geographies of Fear and Hope goes a considerable way to addressing these critical issues which Dalby raised. The book gives a comprehensive regional overview of climate change issues experienced in the Bay of Bengal, and as the second-half of the title suggests, fear and hope surrounding the climate change concerns are framed spatially in a temporal manner. Chaturvedi and Sakhuja cited Matthew Sparks's (2007) paper of geographies of Hope and fear (p.95). Both authors agreed with Sparks's observations of "justified fears when combined with sensible hopes can open up new possibilities and thereby help mobilize change for the better, including both better lives and a better world in which to live" (2007: 338).

I find the discussions on climate-related humanitarian assistance disaster relief and disaster diplomacy in this chapter [4] very important in the context of creating geographies of hope in past, present and of course, future, as well. 

... the book's greatest strengths come from the depth of its empirical coverage, and engagement of a relevant and pressing issue of climate change. Overall, the book draws our attention to the fears and hopes of the Bay of Bengal, a populous region facing a myriad of environmental problems, and provides content highly readable to geography and allied disciplines.

About the publication

Climate Change and the Bay of Bengal argues that in the era of climate change radically different understandings of security and sovereignty are at work. It questions the geopolitics of fear and the manner in which metanarratives of climate change tend to privilege the "global" and "national" scales over other scales, especially the regional and the local. The authors argue in favour of a new imagination of the Bay of Bengal space as a semi-enclosed sea, embedded in a large marine ecosystem, under the relevant provisions of the UNCLOS that impose various obligations upon its signatories to cooperate at a regional level. Such an imagination, anchored in geographies of hope, should not remain confined to official domains and discourses but become a part of popular socio-spatial consciousness through a regional public diplomacy reaching out to the grassroots level. A Bay of Bengal regional seas programme, under the auspices of UNEP, should be conceptualized and operationalized in a manner that explicitly factors in climate change consequences into the existing understandings and approaches to environmental-human security in the region.


  • Climate Change and the Bay of Bengal: Evolving Geographies of Fear and Hope
    [Whole Publication, ISBN: 9789814517935], by Sanjay Chaturvedi, Vijay Sakhuja, authors
  • Preliminary pages
  • 1. Geopolitics in the Era of Climate Change: Rethinking Sovereignty, Security and Sustainability
  • 2. Mapping the Bay of Bengal in the Era of Climate Change
  • 3. Climate Change, Displacements and Imperatives of Human Security
  • 4. Strategic Responses to Non-traditional Security Threats: The Role of the Military
  • 5. Rescaling the National: Realities, Perceptions and Policies
  • 6. Assessing Regional Responses: A Case for Reorientation
  • 7. Conclusion: Towards a Bay of Bengal Community
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • About the Authors

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