IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/climat/v117y2013i3p613-625.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Is climate change a driver of armed conflict?

Author

Listed:
  • Ole Theisen
  • Nils Gleditsch
  • Halvard Buhaug

Abstract

The world is generally becoming less violent, but the debate on climate change raises the specter of a new source of instability and conflict. In this field, the policy debate is running well ahead of its academic foundation—and sometimes even contrary to the best evidence. Although comparative research on security implications of climate change is rapidly expanding, major gaps in knowledge still exist. Taken together, extant studies provide mostly inconclusive insights, with contradictory or weak demonstrated effects of climate variability and change on armed conflict. This article reviews the empirical literature on short-term climate/environmental change and intrastate conflict, with special attention to possible insecurity consequences of precipitation and temperature anomalies and weather-related natural disasters. Based on this assessment, it outlines priorities for future research in this area. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Ole Theisen & Nils Gleditsch & Halvard Buhaug, 2013. "Is climate change a driver of armed conflict?," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 613-625, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:117:y:2013:i:3:p:613-625
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0649-4
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10584-012-0649-4
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s10584-012-0649-4?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2010. "Climate Shocks and Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 454-459, May.
    2. Els Lecoutere & Ben D’Exelle & Bjorn Van Campenhout, 2010. "Who Engages in Water Scarcity Conflicts? A Field Experiment with Irrigators in Semi-arid Africa," Research Working Papers 31, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
    3. Clionadh Raleigh & Dominic Kniveton, 2012. "Come rain or shine: An analysis of conflict and climate variability in East Africa," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(1), pages 51-64, January.
    4. Ole Magnus Theisen, 2012. "Climate clashes? Weather variability, land pressure, and organized violence in Kenya, 1989–2004," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(1), pages 81-96, January.
    5. Antonio Ciccone, 2011. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: A Comment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 215-227, October.
    6. Vally Koubi & Thomas Bernauer & Anna Kalbhenn & Gabriele Spilker, 2012. "Climate variability, economic growth, and civil conflict," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(1), pages 113-127, January.
    7. Mehlum, Halvor & Miguel, Edward & Torvik, Ragnar, 2006. "Poverty and crime in 19th century Germany," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 370-388, May.
    8. Anjali Thomas Bohlken & Ernest John Sergenti, 2010. "Economic growth and ethnic violence: An empirical investigation of Hindu—Muslim riots in India," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(5), pages 589-600, September.
    9. Cullen S Hendrix & Idean Salehyan, 2012. "Climate change, rainfall, and social conflict in Africa," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(1), pages 35-50, January.
    10. Tor A Benjaminsen & Koffi Alinon & Halvard Buhaug & Jill Tove Buseth, 2012. "Does climate change drive land-use conflicts in the Sahel?," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(1), pages 97-111, January.
    11. Drago Bergholt & Päivi Lujala, 2012. "Climate-related natural disasters, economic growth, and armed civil conflict," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(1), pages 147-162, January.
    12. Barron, Patrick & Kaiser, Kai & Pradhan, Menno, 2009. "Understanding Variations in Local Conflict: Evidence and Implications from Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 698-713, March.
    13. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2011. "The Logic of Political Violence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1411-1445.
    14. Christopher K Butler & Scott Gates, 2012. "African range wars: Climate, conflict, and property rights," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(1), pages 23-34, January.
    15. Lotta Themnér & Peter Wallensteen, 2011. "Armed Conflict, 1946-2010," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 48(4), pages 525-536, July.
    16. F. Daniel Hidalgo & Suresh Naidu & Simeon Nichter & Neal Richardson, 2010. "Economic Determinants of Land Invasions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 505-523, August.
    17. Edward Miguel, 2005. "Poverty and Witch Killing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 1153-1172.
    18. Nils Petter Gleditsch, 2012. "Whither the weather? Climate change and conflict," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(1), pages 3-9, January.
    19. Wario R Adano & Ton Dietz & Karen Witsenburg & Fred Zaal, 2012. "Climate change, violent conflict and local institutions in Kenya’s drylands," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(1), pages 65-80, January.
    20. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath, 2011. "Re-examining Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 228-232, October.
    21. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
    22. Rune T Slettebak, 2012. "Don’t blame the weather! Climate-related natural disasters and civil conflict," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 49(1), pages 163-176, January.
    23. Mortimore,Michael, 1998. "Roots in the African Dust," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521451734.
    24. Salvador Barrios & Luisito Bertinelli & Eric Strobl, 2010. "Trends in Rainfall and Economic Growth in Africa: A Neglected Cause of the African Growth Tragedy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 350-366, May.
    25. Mortimore,Michael, 1998. "Roots in the African Dust," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521457859.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ore Koren & Benjamin E. Bagozzi, 2016. "From global to local, food insecurity is associated with contemporary armed conflicts," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(5), pages 999-1010, October.
    2. Crost, Benjamin & Duquennois, Claire & Felter, Joseph H. & Rees, Daniel I., 2018. "Climate change, agricultural production and civil conflict: Evidence from the Philippines," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 379-395.
    3. Julia Renner, 2020. "New Power Structures and Shifted Governance Agendas Disrupting Climate Change Adaptation Developments in Kenya and Uganda," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(7), pages 1-24, April.
    4. Unfried, Kerstin & Kis-Katos, Krisztina & Poser, Tilman, 2021. "Water Scarcity and Social Conflict," IZA Discussion Papers 14707, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. H. Buhaug & J. Nordkvelle & T. Bernauer & T. Böhmelt & M. Brzoska & J. Busby & A. Ciccone & H. Fjelde & E. Gartzke & N. Gleditsch & J. Goldstone & H. Hegre & H. Holtermann & V. Koubi & J. Link & P. Li, 2014. "One effect to rule them all? A comment on climate and conflict," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 391-397, December.
    6. Heidi Kaila & Saurabh Singhal & Divya Tuteja, 2017. "Do fences make good neighbours?: Evidence from an insurgency in India," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2017-158, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Joshi, Devin K. & Hughes, Barry B. & Sisk, Timothy D., 2015. "Improving Governance for the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals: Scenario Forecasting the Next 50years," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 286-302.
    8. Gartzke Erik & Böhmelt Tobias, 2015. "Climate and Conflict: Whence the Weather?," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 21(4), pages 445-451, December.
    9. Gerdis Wischnath & Halvard Buhaug, 2014. "On climate variability and civil war in Asia," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(4), pages 709-721, February.
    10. Ghimire, Ramesh & Ferreira, Susana & Dorfman, Jeffrey H., 2015. "Flood-Induced Displacement and Civil Conflict," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 614-628.
    11. Yannis A. Phillis & Nektarios Chairetis & Evangelos Grigoroudis & Fotis D. Kanellos & Vassilis S. Kouikoglou, 2018. "Climate security assessment of countries," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 148(1), pages 25-43, May.
    12. Saifullahi Sani Ibrahim & Huseyin Ozdeser & Behiye Cavusoglu, 2020. "Testing the impact of environmental hazards and violent conflicts on sustainable pastoral development: micro-level evidence from Nigeria," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 22(5), pages 4169-4190, June.
    13. Price Gregory N. & Elu Juliet U., 2017. "Climate Change and Cross-State Islamist Terrorism in Nigeria," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 23(3), pages 1-13, August.
    14. Chris Jeffords & Alexi Thompson, 2016. "An empirical analysis of fatal crimes against environmental and land activists," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(2), pages 827-842.
    15. Stijn van Weezel, 2018. "Apocalypse now? - Climate change and war in Africa," Working Papers 201816, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    16. van Weezel, Stijn, 2020. "Local warming and violent armed conflict in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    17. C. E. Richards & R. C. Lupton & J. M. Allwood, 2021. "Re-framing the threat of global warming: an empirical causal loop diagram of climate change, food insecurity and societal collapse," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 164(3), pages 1-19, February.
    18. Hans Visser & Arthur Petersen & Willem Ligtvoet, 2014. "On the relation between weather-related disaster impacts, vulnerability and climate change," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 461-477, August.
    19. Hilhorst, D.J.M. & Vervest, M.-J. & Desportes, I. & Melis, S. & Mena Flühmann, R.A. & van Voorst, R.S., 2020. "Strengthening community resilience in conflict: learnings from the Partners for Resilience programme," ISS Working Papers - General Series 131291, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    20. Pfaff, Alexander & Vélez, Maria Alejandra & Ramos, Pablo Andres & Molina, Adriana, 2015. "Framed field experiment on resource scarcity & extraction: Path-dependent generosity within sequential water appropriation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 416-429.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. David Castells-Quintana & Maria del Pilar Lopez-Uribe & Tom McDermott, 2015. "Climate change and the geographical and institutional drivers of economic development," GRI Working Papers 198, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    2. Lopez-Uribe, Maria del Pilar & Castells-Quintana, David & McDermott, Thomas K. J., 2017. "Geography, institutions and development: a review ofthe long-run impacts of climate change," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65147, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Solomon Hsiang & Marshall Burke, 2014. "Climate, conflict, and social stability: what does the evidence say?," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 39-55, March.
    4. Achim Ahrens, 2015. "Civil conflicts in Africa: Climate, economic shocks, nighttime lights and spill-over effects," SEEC Discussion Papers 1501, Spatial Economics and Econometrics Centre, Heriot Watt University.
    5. Martin-Shields, Charles P. & Stojetz, Wolfgang, 2019. "Food security and conflict: Empirical challenges and future opportunities for research and policy making on food security and conflict," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 150-164.
    6. Chen, Junyi & McCarl, Bruce A. & Price, Edwin & Wu, Ximing & Bessler, David A., 2016. "Climate as a Cause of Conflict: An Econometric Analysis," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 229783, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    7. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2014. "What Do We Learn from the Weather? The New Climate-Economy Literature," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(3), pages 740-798, September.
    8. Erin Llwyd Owain & Mark Andrew Maslin, 2018. "Assessing the relative contribution of economic, political and environmental factors on past conflict and the displacement of people in East Africa," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 4(1), pages 1-9, December.
    9. Gerdis Wischnath & Halvard Buhaug, 2014. "On climate variability and civil war in Asia," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(4), pages 709-721, February.
    10. Exenberger Andreas & Pondorfer Andreas, 2013. "Climate Change and the Risk of Mass Violence: Africa in the 21st Century," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(3), pages 381-392, December.
    11. Jean-François Maystadt & Margherita Calderone & Liangzhi You, 2015. "Local warming and violent conflict in North and South Sudan," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 649-671.
    12. Raul Caruso & Ilaria Petrarca & Roberto Ricciuti, 2014. "Climate Change, Rice Crops and Violence. Evidence from Indonesia," CESifo Working Paper Series 4665, CESifo.
    13. Camille Laville, 2018. "The econometrical causal analysis of internal conflicts: The evolutions of a growing literature [L’analyse économétrique des conflits internes par l’approche causale : les évolutions d’une littérat," Working Papers hal-01940461, HAL.
    14. Jeroen Klomp & Erwin Bulte, 2013. "Climate change, weather shocks, and violent conflict: a critical look at the evidence," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(s1), pages 63-78, November.
    15. Zhukov, Yuri M., 2016. "Trading hard hats for combat helmets: The economics of rebellion in eastern Ukraine," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-15.
    16. Hassani Mahmooei, Behrooz & Parris, Brett, 2012. "Why might climate change not cause conflict? an agent-based computational response," MPRA Paper 44918, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Jonathan Goyette & Maroua Smaoui, 2019. "Civil armed conflicts: the impact of the interaction between climate change and agricultural potential," RIEEM Discussion Paper Series 1903, Research Institute for Environmental Economics and Management, Waseda University.
    18. Sarsons, Heather, 2015. "Rainfall and conflict: A cautionary tale," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 62-72.
    19. Ore Koren & Benjamin E. Bagozzi, 2016. "From global to local, food insecurity is associated with contemporary armed conflicts," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(5), pages 999-1010, October.
    20. Kostadis J. Papaioannou & Michiel de Haas, 2015. "Climate shocks, cash crops and resilience: Evidence from colonial tropical Africa," Working Papers 0076, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:117:y:2013:i:3:p:613-625. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.