Climate Change, Disasters, and Armed Conflicts

Disasters like droughts, earthquakes, floods, and storms are becoming more frequent and intense, among others due to climate change. Consequentially, both decision makers and scholars are increasingly concerned about the security implications of disasters. At the same time, the number of armed conflicts globally is on a historical height. However, as of yet, little is known on how disaster impacts the dynamics of such conflicts. In other words: How do conflict parties react if a disaster strikes a civil war zone?

Tobias Ide presents insights from his recent book on this question, drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from 31 civil wars in 21 countries. Among others, he finds that disasters open opportunities for rebel groups, that disasters can also facilitate conflict de-escalation and diplomacy, that situational (rather than structural) factors shape the responses of conflict parties, and that gender is a mediating variable between disasters and conflict dynamics.

About the Speaker

Tobias Ide is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Murdoch University Perth and a Specially Appointed Professor at Hiroshima University. Holding PhDs in Political Science and Earth Science, he has worked intensively on the intersections of climate change, the environment, peace, and conflict. Tobias has published over 60 journals articles since 2014, including in International Security, Journal of Peace Research, and Nature Climate Change. In 2023, he received the ISA Emerging Peace Studies Scholar Award and the International Science Prize for Peace and Ecology in the Anthropocene.

Recent publications:

Catastrophes, Confrontations, and Constraints: How Disasters Shape the Dynamics of Armed Conflicts. MIT Press (2023)

Rise or Recede? How Climate Disasters Affect Armed Conflict Intensity. International Security 47(4), 50-79 (2023).

The Future of Environmental Peace and Conflict Research. Environmental Politics 32 (6), 1077-1103 (2023).

Climate, Women, and Conflict. Global Studies Quarterly 3 (3), ksad039 (2023).

Climate Change and Australia’s National Security. Australian Journal of International Affairs 77 (1), 26-44 (2023).

Register to attend the seminar here

Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies

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