The new project, led by Research
Professor Halvard Buhaug and titled Quantifying Conflict Risks of
Agricultural Productivity Changes (CROP), has been awarded an 8 million NOK budget from the Research Council of Norway.
In addition to Buhaug, PRIO staff and affiliates make up most of the project participants; Jonas Nordkvelle, Elisabeth Lio Rosvold, Nina von Uexkull, Håvard Hegre, Ida Rudolfsen and Andrew Linke.
The project will run from April 2017 until March 2020. Below is a summary of the project and its objectives.
CROP: Quantifying Conflict Risk of Agricultural
A recent wave of societal upheavals across the
Middle East and beyond has accentuated concerns that adverse climatic
conditions increase conflict risk. A simple and sweeping climate-conflict
effect is not likely but climate variability and extremes can have powerful
indirect and conditional effects on political violence. The most plausible
mechanism linking these phenomena is adverse agricultural production changes.
Yet, little is known about the conditions under which this causal pathway is
most likely to materialize. The CROP project addresses this research lacuna
head-on. It will be guided by following research challenges:
(i) Identify key
conditions exacerbating the conflict potential of agricultural production
(ii) Simulate implications of alternative a
scenarios for future conflict risk
The project will move beyond the research frontier
along three dimensions, by explicitly (a) accounting for contexts within which
negative agricultural production changes are most likely to result in violent conflict;
(b) accounting for the relevant social actors involved (rural producers, urban
consumers); and (c) evaluating the implications of uncovered patterns for
future conflict risk through out-of-sample validations and forecasting along
state-of-the-art socioeconomic and climate change-related scenarios.