As goods and people more rapidly traverse our interconnected world, invasive alien species (IAS) are increasingly frequent, ecologically damaging, economically significant, and culturally concerning. Through examinations of IAS, global environmental politics (GEP) scholars can more deeply engage long-standing and newly emerging research problems within the three areas of global governance, global political economy, and environmental security. First, GEP scholars can use IAS research to further develop insights about the impact of problem structure on global governance. Second, examining IAS dispersal risks and associated costs, as well as intercountry variation in management responses, can generate insights about North–South power dynamics in the global political economy and how distributive conflict is likely to shape future invasion risk. Third, notions of environmental security in GEP scholarship can be challenged and further developed by examining the conceptualization and operationalization of “biosecurity” amid increasingly diverse multispecies assemblages. Greater research attention to IAS in GEP is long overdue, and we intend for this article to open novel pathways for GEP interdisciplinary research on IAS.

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Author notes


We are greatly appreciative of Kate J. Neville, Anna Sveinsdóttir, Rebecca Laurent, Kealie Vogel, Emily Guske, Fatou Jobe, the editors, and the anonymous reviewers for their time and energy in providing constructive feedback, particularly during a global pandemic.