foreign policy analysis
Political Forecasting, Good Governance, Political Conflict

Conditional Relationships Between Drought and Civil Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author(s): Curtis Bell, Patrick W. Keys
Date: August 15, 2016
Publication Type: Journal Article
Research Topics: Political Forecasting, Good Governance, Political Conflict

Overview:

Few cross-national studies provide evidence of a relationship between environmental scarcity and conflict, although much of the literature claims that destabilizing effects of environmental crises can be mitigated by the right sociopolitical conditions. The authors analyzed drought severity and civil conflict in sub-Saharan Africa from 1962 to 2006 and uncovered some surprising results based on which and when sociopolitical conditions influenced the link between scarcity and conflict.

Key Findings:

  • Three sociopolitical conditions influence the link between environmental scarcity and civil conflict: social vulnerability, state capacity, and unequal distribution of resources.
  • Drought does not increase risk of conflict in states thought to be especially vulnerable to scarcity.
  • States with sociopolitical conditions that would favor peace are no less likely to suffer conflict during severe drought than other states.
  • Environmental scarcity is more likely to increase conflict risk where populations have more to lose in comparison to times of more favorable climate conditions.

Related Publications

The Power of Networks in Maritime Security Report Cover

The Power of Networks in Maritime Security: What the Fight Against Piracy Can Teach Us About Irregular Migration

Written by Jens Vestergaard Madsen on September 16, 2016

Addressing the developing crisis around irregular migration by sea will require international institutions to work quickly to address the humanitarian, practical, and legal challenges posed by irregular migration.  Applying lessons learned from the

Read more
Seafarer Report

After the Release: The Long-Term Behavioral Impact of Piracy on Seafarers and Families

Written by Chirag Bahri, Kellie Brandt, Alexander Dimitrievich, Karina Fernandez, Tom Holmer, Niyati Malhotra on June 24, 2016

More than 3,000 seafarers have been held hostage by Somali pirates since 2001, with a significant, but unknown, number of seafarers kidnapped in other parts of the world.

Read more
Somali Investment Survey Report

Somali Diaspora Investment Survey Report

Written by Jay Benson, Lee C. Sorensen, Alexandria E. Wise, Lindsay Heger on June 16, 2016

As the Somali regions continue to emerge from decades of civil war, investment is expanding, banks are opening their doors, and Somali exports are increasingly finding markets.

Read more
Glass Ceilings Broken by Hillary Clinton

What Happens After Glass Ceilings Shatter? The Influence a First Female Leader Has on Women’s Representation in Elected Offices

Written by Curtis Bell on June 14, 2016

This paper leverages data from the fifty democracies that have had a female leader to better understand how women in the highest levels of government affect women’s representation in other elected offices.

Read more
United Nations Intervention Good or Bad

The UN Intervention Brigade: Extinguishing Conflict or Adding Fuel to the Flames?

on June 2, 2016

The authorization of the Intervention Brigade (IB) in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has sparked controversy in the international community over the value of such deployments for UN peace operations.

Read more
Renewable Energy in Somalia

Powering Progress II: The Potential of Renewable Energy in Somaliland, Puntland, and South Central Somalia

Written by David Poplack, Kelsey Coolidge on May 9, 2016

This report provides a common operating picture based on diverse information collected from renewable energy experts, development actors, donors, and Somali businesspeople in the traditional and emerging renewable energy market.

Read more
Ecology and Evolution

Causality and the Levels of Selection

on March 30, 2016

When is it sensible to say that group selection has shaped organismal design? This question has prompted many replies but few credible solutions. This article provides new work that exposes the causal relationships between phenotypes and fitness.

Read more
Democracies and coups

Why Democratization Does Not Solve the Coup Problem

Written by Curtis Bell, One Earth Future on March 7, 2016

Since the end of the Cold War, the military coup d’état has become the greatest threat to transitional democracies around the world.

Read more

Pages