Cover Image

Larger ImageView Larger

Natural Security

A Darwinian Approach to a Dangerous World

Raphael Sagarin (Editor), Terrence Taylor (Editor)

Available worldwide

Hardcover, 306 pages
ISBN: 9780520253476
February 2008
$85.00, £62.95
Other Formats Available:
Arms races among invertebrates, intelligence gathering by the immune system and alarm calls by marmots are but a few of nature's security strategies that have been tested and modified over billions of years. This provocative book applies lessons from nature to our own toughest security problems—from global terrorism to the rise of infectious disease to natural disasters. Written by a truly multidisciplinary group including paleobiologists, anthropologists, psychologists, ecologists, and national security experts, it considers how models and ideas from evolutionary biology can improve national security strategies ranging from risk assessment, security analysis, and public policy to long-term strategic goals.
Contributors vii
Acknowledgments ix

Part One: Introduction

1. The Origins of Natural Security 3
Raphael D. Sagarin

2. Living with Risk 14
Terrence Taylor

Part Two: Life History and Security

3. Security, Unpredictability, and Evolution: 25
Policy and the History of Life
Geerat J. Vermeij

4. From Bacteria to Belief: Immunity and Security 42
Luis P. Villarreal

Part Three: Security Today

5. Corporations and Bureaucracies under a Biological Lens 71
Elizabeth M. Prescott

6. Selection, Security, and Evolutionary International Relations 86
Gregory P. Dietl

Part Four: Evolution’s Imprint: Psychology and the Roots of Terrorism

7. Militants and Martyrs: Evolutionary Perspectives on 105
Religion and Terrorism
Richard Sosis and Candace S. Alcorta

8. Causes of and Solutions of Islamic Fundamentalist 125
Terrorism
Bradley A. Thayer

9. The Power of Moral Belief 141
Scott Atran

Part Five: Ecology and Security

10. Fourteen Security Lessons from Antipredator Behavior 147
Daniel T. Blumstein

11. Population Models and Counterinsurgency Strategies 159
Dominic D. P. Johnson and Joshua S. Madin

12. The Infectiousness of Terrorist Ideology: 186
Insights from Ecology and Epidemiology
Kevin D. Lafferty, Katherine F. Smith, and
Elizabeth M. P. Madin

Part Six: Synthesis

13. Paradigm Shifts in Security Strategy: 209
Why Does It Take Disasters to Trigger Change?
Dominic D. P. Johnson and Elizabeth M. P. Madin

14. Network Analysis Links Parts to the Whole 240
Ferenc Jordán

15. A Holistic View of Natural Security 261
Raphael D. Sagarin

Index 279
Raphael D. Sagarin is Associate Director for Ocean and Coastal Policy at The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. Terence Taylor is the President and Director of the International Council for the Life Sciences. He previously served with the United Nations as a Commissioner and Chief Inspector for Iraq on weapons of mass destruction and was a career officer in the British army.
“Engaging . . . . A stimulating read. It opens the door to an exciting merger between political science and evolutionary theory.”—Nature
“This book deserves a broad, interdisciplinary readership. . . It also illustrates how applied knowledge of evolution can promote human well-being.”—Qtly Review Of Biology
“This is a pioneering and provocative book. . . . Anyone with an interest in evolution, ecology and the human predicament will benefit from reading Natural Security.”—Paul R. Ehrlich Cell
“Recommended.”—J. S. Schwartz Choice
“This is a pioneering and provocative book.”—Paul R. Ehrlich Trends In Ecology & Evolution
"A fascinating read, and an essential and novel perspective on international security. Sagarin and his collaborators are not afraid to think outside the box, effectively making the case that we need to think about these problems in new ways."—Simon Levin, George M. Moffett Professor of Biology, Princeton University

"Sagarin and Taylor's Natural Security searches for the roots of political stability by studying interaction in its most fundamental forms, from genes and cells to ideology. This fresh, bold book heralds a vital integration of evolutionary analysis with real-life problems."—Richard Wrangham, Ruth B. Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology, Harvard University

"As the ongoing disaster in Iraq so graphically demonstrates, we need new ways to think about international security and what policies to pursue. Drawing on modern evolutionary biology in diverse ways these essays suggest new modes of analysis and scientific additions to our social, economic and political models. The net result is an insightful and stimulating contribution to a critical debate."—Malcolm Dando, Professor of International Security, Bradford University, UK

Join UC Press


Members receive 20-40% discounts on book purchases. Find out more