Climate Changes, Natural Disasters and the Risk of Violence in India

Led by Rune Slettebak

Sep 2008 – May 2012

It is often suggested that climate change is likely to increase the risk of violent conflict, but robust scientific evidence for such a claim is lacking. This project analysed whether climate-related natural disasters (e.g. storms, floods and droughts) in India, Indonesia and globally have displayed a systematic connection to the risk of violent conflict in recent decades. An increase in the frequency and severity of such disasters is expected to be among the first adverse impacts of climate change. Neo-Malthusianism, which predicts an increase in conflict, is tested against the less well-known disaster sociology, which predicts a reduction. The bulk of the evidence found goes in favour of the latter tradition: disasters appear more likely to prevent than to promote violent conflict.

Supervisors: Indra de Soysa (NTNU/CSCW) and Henrik Urdal (CSCW/PRIO)

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