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Climate Change, Conflict and Local Agency 
Gordon Crawford (Coventry University)
Zainab Mai-Bornu (University of Leicester)
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Zainab Mai-Bornu (University of Leicester)
Palmer 1.06
Friday 30 June, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

Climate change-induced conflict is of increasing concern, with poor communities most affected. Global warming has Intensified pressures on land and water in already resource-scarce situations, increasing potential for local conflict. Simultaneously, local agency can also prevent / resolve conflict.

Long Abstract:

Climate change-induced conflict is an emerging phenomenon of increasing concern. While conflict over natural resources is not new, the impact of human-made global warming is distinctive and different. Climate change, inclusive of extreme heat, drought and excessive rainfall, produces conditions that many settled human societies have not experienced before, with poor and marginalised communities often severely affected. Such conditions lead to intensified pressures on the availability of resources such as land and water in already resource-scarce situations, increasing the potential for local conflicts. For example, the escalation of farmer-herder conflicts in Nigeria and elsewhere in West and Central Africa is partly explained by climate change-induced desertification leading to decreased availability of arable and grazing land, and hence increased conflict over land usage between different socio-economic groups. Political instability or weak governance can also exacerbate the potential for conflict. Africa in particular contains countries that are characterised by state instability and highly vulnerable to climate change-induced weather extremes, though this combination is also experienced elsewhere globally. The impact of climate change can also push people to move, potentially exacerbating tensions within and between countries as access to food and water resources is increasingly constrained. Such increased connections between climate change and conflict requires reflection by scholars on ways to prevent and resolve conflicts. This panel welcomes papers that explore the climate change-conflict interconnection, as well as interventions to reduce potential conflict. In particular, we are interested in bottom-up approaches to conflict mediation that focus on local agency.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 30 June, 2023, -