Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2024

Document Type

Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in International Relations


Political Science & International Relations


Andrew Tirrell


Health and the environment impact the security and stability of the global community, as can be seen through the effects of pandemics and climate change. This paper attempts to address these factors by helping create a preventative strategy for countries to be better equipped to face these challenges, and decrease the extent of future manifestations. Starting with a comparative analysis of the Black Death and the COVID-19 pandemic, this paper explores the relationship that exists between health, the environment, and human behavior. The analysis suggests that when these aspects are mutually beneficial, there is an increase in human security, which ultimately leads to an increase in national security and pandemic resilience. After conducting a historical analysis, the paper provides statistical support by demonstrating a correlation between the Global Peace Index (GPI), the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), and the Sustainable Development Goal 3 Index (SDG 3). In summary, the statistical analysis supports three hypotheses: First, hat the SDG 3 and GHSI are positively correlated, suggesting that countries’ health is related to policy effectiveness; Second, that the SDG 3 and EPI are positively correlated, suggesting that health and environmental policies are mutually beneficial; Third, that SDG 3 and EPI are positively correlated with GPI, suggesting that increased human security via good health and environment increases peace. Finally, the paper performs a case analysis of Denmark, Czechia, and Australia, and then compares them to Iraq and Saudi Arabia to explore how the relationship manifests in nations’ policies and which of these policies are most effective. Identifying specific policies can recommend ways nation-states can improve the different aspects of the relationship and how they can become more resilient through future pandemics, resulting in a healthier, more eco-friendly, and more peaceful world.