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AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh

Winter 2011/12

"Climate Wars? Assessing the Claim That Drought Breeds Conflict"

Journal Article, International Security, issue 3, volume 36

By Ole Magnus Theisen, Helge Holtermann and Halvard Buhaug

Climate change will most likely impose great hardships on Africa’s agrarian societies in the coming years, but new research suggests that, despite current thought, it will not increase the likelihood of civil war. The concern that scarcity will breed conflict is understandable, but the data show that civil war is more highly correlated with other factors, such as high infant mortality, proximity to international borders, and high local population density. Climate shocks are certain to increase the suffering of marginalized societies in other ways, which makes it all the more important that we do not militarize the issue lest fear limit immigration and relief efforts.

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We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.