Bridging Research and Policy on Climate Change and Conflict

Journal article

Gilmore, Elisabeth; Lauren Herzer Risi; Elizabeth Tennant & Halvard Buhaug (2018) Bridging Research and Policy on Climate Change and Conflict, Current Climate Change Report 4 (4): 313–319.

Read the article here (Open Access)

Purpose of Review

This special issue on “Bridging Research and Policy on Climate Change and Conflict” brings together the results of a 2018 workshop organized by the Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) and the Wilson Center with six papers that address different aspects of the translation of the research on climate change and conflict to policy and practice. Here, we provide an overview of the workshop and papers to highlight key opportunities and challenges to linking the climate-conflict scholarship with pressing issues in diplomacy, development, and security.

Recent Findings

Multiple methods, especially comparative case studies, should be applied to elucidate the more complex mechanisms of the climate-conflict link. This approach may also enhance engagement with the policymakers who draw on examples and narratives. There is also a need for both predictive models that capture contextual factors and policy interactions as well as decision-support tools, such as integrated assessment models, that can be used to test the implications of different theories and models in the literature.


Scholars should engage the policy community to formulate research questions that are more policy relevant, such as the effectiveness of interventions. There is also the need for models and frameworks that help practitioners synthesize the academic results. Practitioners are encouraged to leverage the comparative advantages of academic researchers in new policy and projects to inform data collection and future analysis of effectiveness.

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