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Is climate change a driver of armed conflict?

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  • Ole Theisen

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  • 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
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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 & Rees, Daniel I., 2015. "Climate Change, Agricultural Production and Civil Conflict: Evidence from the Philippines," IZA Discussion Papers 8965, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Gerdis Wischnath & Halvard Buhaug, 2014. "On climate variability and civil war in Asia," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(4), pages 709-721, February.
    9. 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.
    10. Ghimire, Ramesh & Ferreira, Susana & Dorfman, Jeffrey H., 2015. "Flood-Induced Displacement and Civil Conflict," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 614-628.

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