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Conditional Relationships Between Drought and Civil Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7250-1563
Number of Authors: 22018 (English)In: Foreign Policy Analysis, ISSN 1743-8586, E-ISSN 1743-8594, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 1-23Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Much of the literature on climate change adaptation claims the destabilizing consequences of environmental crises are mitigated by sociopolitical conditions that influence a state's susceptibility to scarcity-induced violence. However, few cross-national studies provide evidence of conditional scarcity-conflict relationships. This analysis of drought severity and civil conflict onset in sub-Saharan Africa (1962-2006) uncovers three sociopolitical conditions that influence the link between environmental scarcity and civil conflict: social vulnerability, state capacity, and unequal distribution of resources. Surprisingly, we find drought does not exacerbate the high risk of conflict in the vulnerable, incapable, and unequal states thought to be especially susceptible to increased scarcity. Instead, drought negates the peace-favoring attributes of stable states with less vulnerable populations. During severe drought, states with sociopolitical conditions that would otherwise favor peace are no less likely to suffer conflict than states with sociopolitical conditions that would otherwise increase the risk of violence. These findings, which are robust across several measures of these sociopolitical concepts, suggest environmental scarcity is most likely to increase the risk of conflict where populations have more to lose relative to periods with more favorable weather.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 14, no 1, p. 1-23
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-162068DOI: 10.1093/fpa/orw002ISI: 000447345600001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-162068DiVA, id: diva2:1266258
Available from: 2018-11-27 Created: 2018-11-27 Last updated: 2018-12-20Bibliographically approved

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