Richard Matthew

Professor, Planning, Policy & Design
School of Social Ecology

Director, Center for Unconventional Security Affairs

PH.D., Princeton University

Phone: (949) 824-4852
Fax: (949) 824-8566

University of California, Irvine
212C SE I
Mail Code: 7075
Irvine, CA 92697

picture of Richard  Matthew

Enviromental change, conflict and security; sustainable development; enviromental justice; enviromental policy; global governance
Center for Unconventional Security Affairs
Natural Resources for Peacebuilding
Dr. Matthew has received Certificates of Recognition for his research and service activities from the U.S. Congress, the California State Legislature and the City of Los Angeles, as well as the SGI Liberty Medal. He established the Human Security Award, which is given annually to individuals and groups who have made a substantial contribution to human security He has given a TEDx lecture on his peacebuilding activities:
Richard A. Matthew (BA McGill; PhD Princeton) is a Professor in the Schools of Social Ecology and Social Science at the University of California at Irvine, and founding Director of the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs (

He studies (a) the environmental dimensions of conflict and peacebuilding; (b) climate change adaptation in conflict and post-conflict societies; and (c) the process of transitioning societies from crisis to sustainability. He has done extensive field work in conflict zones in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. His research is widely diffused beyond academic outlets to support the efforts of practitioners in the conservation and humanitarian communities. He was, for example, the lead author of the United Nations policy justification, From Conflict to Peacebuilding: The Role of Natural Resources and the Environment.

He is also a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Geneva; a senior member of the United Nations Expert Group on Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding; and a member of the World Conservation Union’s Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy. He has served on 12 UN missions, including two that he led to Sierra Leone, and he was the lead author of the UN technical report, Sierra Leone: Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding Assessment.

He has over 130 publications. Recent books and co-edited volumes include Contested Grounds: Security and Conflict in the New Environmental Politics (SUNY Press: 1999); Dichotomy of Power: Nation versus State in World Politics (Lexington: 2002); Conserving the Peace: Resources, Livelihoods, and Security (IISD: 2002); Reframing the Agenda: The Impact of NGO and Middle Power Cooperation in International Security Policy (Praeger: 2003); Landmines and Human Security: International Relations and War’s Hidden Legacy (SUNY Press: 2004); Global Environmental Change and Human Security (MIT Press: 2010).
Research Centers Global Peace and Conflict Studies Center
Center for the Study of Democracy
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Last updated 08/19/2011