Quantifying Conflict Risk of Agricultural Productivity Changes (CROP)

Quantifying Conflict Risk of Agricultural Productivity Changes (CROP)
Photo: Nina von Uexkull and Erik Melander
Led by Halvard Buhaug
Apr 2017 - Jun 2020

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. 

To get updates on events and project outputs, go visit our Climate and Conflict Blog.

The CROP project addresses this research lacuna head-on. It will be guided by following research challenges:

  1. Identify key conditions exacerbating the conflict potential of agricultural production changes
  2. Simulate implications of alternative a scenarios for future conflict risk

​The project will move beyond the research frontier along three dimensions, by explicitly 
  • ​accounting for contexts within which negative agricultural production changes are most likely to result in violent conflict; 
  • accounting for the relevant social actors involved (rural producers, urban consumers); and 
  • 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.
Project members: 
Halvard Buhaug, Jonas Vestby, Elisabeth Rosvold, PRIO; 
Nina von Uexkull, Håvard Hegre, Ida Rudolfsen, Uppsala; 
Andrew Linke, University of Utah.
Project period: April 2017 – June 2020
Budget: NOK 8 mill


Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Buhaug, Halvard; Mihai Croicu; Hanne Fjelde & Nina von Uexkull (2020) A conditional model of local income shock and civil conflict, Journal of Politics. DOI: 10.1086/709671.
Rudolfsen, Ida (2020) Food price increase and urban unrest: The role of societal organizations, Journal of Peace Research. DOI: 10.1177%2F0022343319899705.
von Uexkull, Nina; Marco d'Errico & Julius Jackson (2020) Drought, Resilience, and Support for Violence: Household Survey Evidence from DR Congo, Journal of Conflict Resolution. DOI: 10.1177/0022002720923400.
Bergius, Mikael; Tor Arve Benjaminsen; Faustin P. Maganga & Halvard Buhaug (2020) Green economy, degradation narratives, and land-use conflicts in Tanzania, World Development 129: 104850–.
Buhaug, Halvard & Jonas Vestby (2019) On Growth Projections in the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, Global Environmental Politics 19(4): 118–132.

PhD Thesis

Rosvold, Elisabeth Lio (2019) Coping with Calamity: Natural Disasters, Armed Conflict and Development Aid. PhD thesis, Department of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim.

Book Chapter

Strand, Håvard & Halvard Buhaug (2018) Tracing Armed Conflict over Time: A Reversal of the Recent Decline?, in Backer, David; Ravinder Bhavnani; & Paul Huth, eds, Peace and Conflict 2017. New York: Routledge (16–22).

Popular Article

Rudolfsen, Ida (2018) Food insecurity and unrest, PRIO Climate & Conflict Blog, 1 June.
Buhaug, Halvard (2018) Matpriser og sosial uro [Food prices and social unrest], The Norwegian Atlantic Committee, 23 May.
Vestby, Jonas; Ida Rudolfsen & Halvard Buhaug (2018) Does hunger cause conflict?, PRIO Climate & Conflict Blog, 18 May.
Vestby, Jonas; Ida Rudolfsen & Halvard Buhaug (2018) Fører matmangel til mer krig? [Does food insecurity lead to conflict?], Bistandsaktuelt, 27 April.
Buhaug, Halvard (2017) What do the experts think?, PRIO Climate & Conflict Blog, 15 December.

Report - External Series

Buhaug, Halvard (2018) Global Security Challenges of Climate Change, Toda Peace Institute Policy Brief, 18. Tokyo.