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)
Rune Slettebak, a PhD candidate at NTNU and a research associate of CSCW/PRIO successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in Trondheim on 3 May. The title of the dissertation is 'Climate Change, Natural Disasters, and the Risk of Violent Conflict'.
This PhD project assesses the relation between natural disasters triggered by extreme weather events and the risk of violent conflict. Han Dorussen (University of Essex) and Espen Sjaastad (Norwegian University of Life Sciences) were the opponents at the dissertation defense, while Indra de Soysa and Henrik Urdal were PhD supervisors.