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KLIMAFORSK-Stort program klima

Climate variability, food insecurity, and social conflict

Awarded: NOK 0.24 mill.

Among the many potential devastating consequences of climate change, the risk of societal disruption and violent conflict stand out as especially worrisome. This proposal responds to the KLIMAFORSK call for providing a better understanding of the risks climate change poses to social systems. It involves hosting Assistant Professor Todd Smith, Uni Nevada, at PRIO as a guest researcher for 8 months to study how food insecurity impacts of climate variability and extremes are associated with social unrest. Specifically, it will examine how environmental factors, such as rainfall deviations, drought, and heat waves, impact, first, changes in local agricultural production and food prices, and second, the occurrence of socio-political mobilization and unrest. This activity takes an explicit mixed method approach, combining rigorous macro-level statistical analysis with novel survey and interview field research. The project will build on earlier research conducted by Smith as well as the PRIO team. A political scientist by training, Todd Smith's background, experience, and demonstrable research talent make him the ideal candidate to conduct research activities outlined in this proposal. At PRIO, Smith will be integrated into ongoing research activities on security dimensions of climate change. Two projects are of especial relevance, and will benefit the most from Smith's work; an ERC Consolidator Grant project on Climate Variability and Security Threats (CLIMSEC) and a companion project on Climatic Anomalies and Violent Environments (CAVE), funded by the Research Council of Norway. Both projects are led by Research Professor Halvard Buhaug, who also serves as project leader and supervisor for this activity.

Funding scheme:

KLIMAFORSK-Stort program klima