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Lecture 20131120 koepke

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"Political Ecology of Climate Change, Food Insecurity and Social Conflict".
Lecture held at Warsaw University, November 20, 2013
Sören Köpke M.A.

Veröffentlicht in: News & Politik, Technologie
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Lecture 20131120 koepke

  1. 1. Platzhalter für Bild, Bild auf Titelfolie hinter das Logo einsetzen Political Ecology of Climate Change, Food Insecurity and Social Conflict Warsaw University – Sören Köpke M.A. November 20, 2013
  2. 2. Structure 1 Introduction/Background 2 Hypothesis 3 Literature •  3.1 Climate and Conflict •  3.2 Theories on Food Insecurity •  3.3 Theories on Social Conflict 4 Political Ecology as a Theoretical Framework 5 Methods 6 Case Overview •  Darfur/Sudan •  Somalia •  North Mali 7 Outlook Sören Köpke M.A.| University Warsaw November 20, 2013
  3. 3. 1. Introduction/Background •  •  •  •  Climate Change is a phenomenon largely explored by the natural sciences. Wenzel (2010) demands to improve the understanding of the social science perspective on the consequences of climate change on human societies. The most severe dangers of climate change are sudden-onset events like flooding, extreme storms, prolonged droughts. Slow-onset events like rising sea levels create different problems that can be addressed within other frameworks. Agriculture-based societies are most vulnerable. Rising food prices and heightened probabilities of yield failure create scenarios that make social conflicts much more likely than in conditions without climate change (Brown 2011). Conflicts while handing out Bread, Egypt 2008, Source: The Telegraph Website Sören Köpke M.A.| University Warsaw November 20, 2013
  4. 4. 2 Hypothesis •  I am trying to find out whether climate change is likely to trigger social conflicts through food insecurity. Climate Change •  → Social Conflict I suggest that food insecurity triggered by climate change only leads to social conflict under a set of intervening variables, which I describe as following: •  . → Food Insecurity •  •  Neglect of grievances of food-insecure populations Overreliance on market solutions vs. emergency handouts Militarization/ violent suppression of protest → Loss of Government Legitimacy Sören Köpke M.A.| University Warsaw November 20, 2013
  5. 5. Research Question: How does climate-change-induced food insecurity create conflict in vulnerable societies? Which socio-economic, political and ecological factors influence conflict genesis under this condition? Sören Köpke M.A.| University Warsaw November 20, 2013
  6. 6. 3 Literature Overview 3.1 Climate and Conflict •  •  •  Welzer (2010), Dyer (2010) etc. see environmental depletion and overexploitation of ressources as fundamental causes for future conflict. Empirical evidence is weak (Gledditsch & Nordås 2007) There seems to be a significant causal link between a warming climate (even minor temperature variability), more extreme rainfall, and the likelihood of different scales of conflict (Hsiang, Burke & Miguel 2013). This does not explain the mechanisms relevant to the question at hand. Homer-Dixon (1999) is an often-cited and controversial author who tried to establish the greater connections between ressource scarcity and conflict genesis. Although his mode of explanation is ideational, he is often seen as a neo-malthusian. Malawian Women waiting for water. Source: NY Times Website Sören Köpke M.A.| University Warsaw November 20, 2013
  7. 7. 3 Literature Overview „Each case of environmentally induced conflict is complex and unique: each has a specific ecosystem, history, culture, economy, set of actors, and set of power relations among these actors.“ – (Homer-Dixon 1999) Sören Köpke M.A.| University Warsaw November 20, 2013
  8. 8. 3 Literature Overview 3.2 Explanations of Food Crises •  •  •  •  Food security crises are a constant factor in human societies (Arnold 1991). Materialist approaches emphasize the importance of basic economic needs to human survival. Fraser & Rimas (2010) find that food production is the spine of civilizations. A functioning human-nature-relationship enabling food production is the basis for social well-being. In his Essay on the Principles of Population Thomas R. Malthus first established the relation between population growth and scarcity. He postulates that exponential growth of populations cannot be met by the development of food resources. Hunger and conflict are the consequences. His „Food Availability Decline (FAD)“-thesis is supported by („neo-malthusian“) theoreticians until today, but is critizised by others (e.g. Amartya Sen). Mike Davis (2002) in his study of late victorian drought-famines in Asia and elsewhere portrays the relations between climate events, colonial violence, yield failure and socio-economic grievances. Armed conflict is a major cause of food insecurity in itself. This creates the problem of possible vicious circles (see Somalian Civil War) Sören Köpke M.A.| University Warsaw November 20, 2013
  9. 9. 3 Literature Overview 3.3 Explanations of Social Conflict •  •  •  The question of economic causes to social conflict where addressed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Their Historical Materialism, which was mainly concerned with the history of class conflict, was understood to be too economistic and reductionist in the course ot the 20th century. Rational-Choice-based analyses have become important especially in the field of International Relations. On this basis, Collier & Hoeffler (2000) bring forth the thesis that individual profit interests are more likely to influence conflict genesis than collective grievances („Greed vs. Grievances“). This thesis is problematic in regards to the research question at hand. Johan Galtung (1958) theorizes conflict from a structuralist perspective. He emphasizes the socioeconomic and power structures that give birth to violent conflict. Sören Köpke M.A.| University Warsaw November 20, 2013
  10. 10. 4 Political Ecology •  •  •  •  Political Ecology is a broad theoretical approach that looks at the political character of ecologogical conflicts and the social construction of „nature“, as well as economic dynamics of resource use It especially focusses on the distribution of costs and profits in the use of natural ressources (Bryant & Bailey 1997; Robbins 2004; Peet et.al. 2010). Political Ecology was originally a materialist approach and was influenced by neo-marxist readings of political economy in the 1970s. Later a critical turn away from overtly deterministic positions led to more pluralistic and local-based research. At the same time, post-structuralist theory influenced Political Ecology. Demarkations against neo-malthusian models and environmental determinism continue to characterize the approach („apolitical ecology“: Robbins 2004) My own approach is based solely on structuralist assumptions; hegemonic discourse strategies do not feature in the analysis. Sören Köpke M.A.| University Warsaw November 20, 2013
  11. 11. 5 Method Case Study Method •  •  •  The comparative case study method allows for a theoretically sound, controlled comparison of the phenomenon under research in different varieties. Findings can be put into context and offer high construct validity (Bennet 2004). Case study research allows for a mix of data collection methods and sources. Data is found in press clippings, historical records, meteorological and economic data provided by governmental and intergovernmental organisations , conflict data bases,etc. Fieldwork including semi-structured interviews and participant observation would be extremely helpful in rounding up findings and securing the depthness of case analysis. Security considerations, however, present a huge obstacle to conducting fieldwork. In similar studies, researchers interviewed people from the diasporas dwelling in refugee camps (Warner et al. 2012) Sören Köpke M.A.| University Warsaw November 20, 2013
  12. 12. 6 Case Overview 6.1 Darfur-Conflict (2003-2010) •  •  •  •  Prolonged droughts in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s led to the deterioation of livelihood in the Darfur states of Western Sudan. The population of Darfur looked back at a long history of socio-economic and political marginalization. Recurrent clashes between nomadic pastoralists („Arabs“) and smallholding farmers („Africans“) occur over meadow ground and water resources. In 2003 rebel militias of the „African“ ethnies of Zaghawa, Masalit und Fur start an uprising The Sudanese central government answers by arming „Arabian“ militias on horseback („Janjaweed“). Atrocities and massacres as well as mass displacement escalate the conflict. The conflict has colonial roots in the history of the marginalization of Darfur. Geopolitical impacts are visible (Conflict in Chad; Lybian politics under Ghadaffi; Sudanese Civil War) The first „Climate War“? (Moon 2007) Sören Köpke M.A.| University Warsaw November 20, 2013
  13. 13. 6 Case Overview 6.2 Somalian Civil War (2009-) •  •  •  •  Somalia is a „failed state“ par excellence. Since the downfall of the dictatorship of Siad Barre 1991, the country is in a state of constant strife of varyiing intensity. Interventions by US and UN forces (1992-93) in the face of hunger catastrophe ended as military catastrophes. 2006 Ethiopia intervenes as ally of the USA. Somalia become a theatre of war in the „War on Terror“. Parts of the country are ruled by the Islamic Court Union (ICU) which are framed as Jihadists and allies of Al-Qaeda. New Phase of conflict from 2009; Al-Shabaab-Militias are the leading enemies against Transitional Government and UN Troups; a militant successor organisation of the ICU with overt connections to jihadist networks June 2011 sees a peak in drought-related famine. Mass displacement of weakened and starving Somalians swell refugee camps in Kenya. Al-Shabaab blocks migration and aid convoys in areas under their control. Sören Köpke M.A.| University Warsaw November 20, 2013
  14. 14. 6 Case Overview 6.3 Northern Mali (2012-2013) •  •  •  •  The ongoing deterioation of livelihoods of the Tuareg population in arid Northern Mali was caused by recurring droughts. This led to a series of uprisings in the region. In January 2013 the Tuareg militia MLNA starts and insurgency and calls for an independent AZAWAD. The insurgency is followed by a government crisis and a coup d‘etat in Mali‘s capital Bamako. Jihadist groups (AQMI, MUJAO, Ansar Dine), who are former allies, defeat the MLNA. Adherents of Political Islam establish their rule in Northern Mali on the base of an extremely strict intrepretation of Islam Mail and other parts of Western Africa play an important role in transcontinental drug trafficking. Opponents on both sides profit from the trade. In January 2013, the intervention of an international military alliance under the leadership of former colonial power France begins. Fast military successes lead to a defeat of Jihadist forces. Sören Köpke M.A.| University Warsaw November 20, 2013
  15. 15. 7 Outlook/ Policy Recommendations •  •  •  •  •  Stop the militarization of conflicts that are caused and supported by neglect of basic human needs. Adress basic human needs first and foremost and make them part of every peace-building effort. Increase resilience of local communities against climate change by establishing sustainable food chains, access to safe water, and adequate distribution of land ressources. Implement social policies that increase equity. Work on capacity-building. Secure finance to adapt to climate change also in regards to food security. Re-direct adaptation policies away from the overemphasis on technological and market solutions Mitigate the most severe dangers of climate change by de-carbonizing industries and households. Sören Köpke M.A.| University Warsaw November 20, 2013
  16. 16. Thank you for your attention! Arrival at Daadab Refugee Camp. Source :WFP.org, 2012 Sören Köpke M.A.| University Warsaw November 20, 2013

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