Climate Change and Resource Conflict: The Role of Scarcity, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Climate Change and Resource Conflict

The Role of Scarcity, 1st Edition

By Judith M. Bretthauer


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This book examines the links between climate change and resource scarcity to violent conflict.

Does climate change cause conflicts? This book analyses the economic, political and social conditions under which countries with low levels of freshwater or arable land experience armed conflict. There are strong theoretic arguments linking climate change and scarcity of livelihood resources to conflict. However, empirical accounts are contradictory. Using qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), this book compares 22 political, economic and social conditions across 30 countries experiencing scarcity of available freshwater or arable land. The results show that there are three types of resource-scarce countries that experience conflicts: (neo)patrimonial states, oil-rich states that are poorly integrated into the global economy and least developed states. In addition, the results reveal that there are two types of resource scarce countries that remain peaceful: non-agrarian countries with either even development between groups or high integration into the global economy with high levels of adaptive capacities. This explains the contradictory results of previous empirical studies and suggests that resource scarcity might contribute to conflict in least developed countries.

This book will be of much interest to students of climate change, critical security, peace and conflict studies, and IR in general.

Table of Contents

1. Climate Change, Resource Scarcity and Armed Conflict

2. Economic Explanations: Development, Dependence and Diversification

3. Political Explanations: Dimensions of State Capacities

4. Social Explanations: Inequality and Adaptive Skills

5. Bringing Economic, Political and Social Explanations Together

6. Conclusion

About the Author

Judith M. Bretthauer is a project manager at the Sanddorf Stiftung, Germany, and has a PhD in Political Science from the VU University, Netherlands.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution

The field of peace and conflict research has grown enormously as an academic pursuit in recent years, gaining credibility and relevance amongst policy makers and in the international humanitarian and NGO sector. The Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution series aims to provide an outlet for some of the most significant new work emerging from this academic community, and to establish itself as a leading platform for innovative work at the point where peace and conflict research impacts on International Relations theory and processes.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General