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Hexagon Series on
Human, Environmental Security and Peace (HESP)

Edited by
Hans Günter Brauch,

AFES-PRESS, chairman
Free University of Berlin (Ret.)

Hexagon VIII

Vol 8


Jürgen Scheffran • Michael Brzoska • Hans Günter Brauch • Peter Michael Link • Janpeter Schilling (Eds.): Climate Change, Human Security and Violent Conflict - Challenges for Societal Stability. Hexagon Series on Human and Environmental Security and Peace, vol. 8 (Heidelberg - Dordrecht - London - New York: Springer, 2012).

ISBN: 978-3-642-28625-4 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-642- (Online
DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-

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Climate change is becoming a focal point of security and conflict research and poses challenges to the world’s structures of policymaking and governance. This handbook explores empirical and theoretical links between climate change, environmental degradation, human security, societal stability and violent conflict that could trigger cascading events and critical tipping points in climate-society interaction. Based on an extensive analysis of the securitization discourse, various conflict constellations are assessed, including water scarcity, food insecurity, natural disasters and mass migration. The security risks of climate are discussed in detail with regard to regional climate hot spots in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific. Constructive approaches are examined for improving climate security through capacity-building for sustainable peace and cooperative policies leading to local and global governance structures.

With Forewords by Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria; Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action; Christiana Figures, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC; R.K. Pachauri, Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Contents: Part 1: Introduction. – Part II: Climate Change, Human Security, Societal Stability, and Violent Conflict: Empirical and Theoretical Linkages. – Part III: Climate Change and the Securitization Discourse. – Part IV: Climate Change and Migration. – Part V: Climate Change and Security in the Middle East. – Part VI: Climate Change and Security in Africa. – Part VII: Climate Change and Security in Asia and the Pacific. – Part VIII: Improving Climate Security: Cooperative Policies and Capacity-Building. – Part IX: Conclusions and Outlook.

All chapters were anonymously peer reviewed.

On the Editors (for short biographies)


Jürgen Scheffran (Germany), Professor, Institute for Geography, head, Research Group Climate Change and Security (CLISEC), KlimaCampus Excellence Initiative, University of Hamburg, Germany. Until 2009 he held faculty positions at the Departments of Political Science and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). After his Ph.D. in physics at Marburg University he worked at the Technical University of Darmstadt, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and as Visiting Professor at the University of Paris (Sorbonne). His research and teaching interests include: energy security, climate change, and sustainable development; human-environment interaction and complex systems analysis; technology assessment, conflict analysis, and international security. Recent projects include CLISEC, the ConflictSpace project, the Renewable Energy Initiative and related projects funded by the US Department of Energy, the Energy Biosciences Institute and the Environmental Council at UIUC. He is co-editor of Global Responsibility and Wissenschaft und Frieden, and has edited a special issue of the journal “Complexity”.


Michael Brzoska (Germany) is Scientific Director of the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy and Professor of Political Science at the University of Hamburg, Germany, Chair of the Foundation Council of the German Foundation for Peace Research, and Principal Investigator in the CLISAP (Climate System Analysis and Prediction) programme at the University of Hamburg. He studied economics and political science at Fribourg (Switzerland) completing withobtaining a diploma in eEconomics and a Ph.D. and Habilitation in political science. He has earlier worked as co-director of the Arms Trade and Arms Production Team at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Solna, Sweden, as Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Hamburg, and as Director of Research at the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), Bonn, Germany. He has published widely on economic and political issues related to armed conflicts, arms production and trade, military spending, civil wars, and sanctions.


Hans Günter Brauch (Germany): Dr., Adj. Prof. (Privatdozent), Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Free University of Berlin; fellow, Institute on Environment and Human Security of the United Nations University (UNU-EHS), Bonn; chairman, Peace Research and European Security Studies (AFES-PRESS). He is editor of Hexagon Book Series on Human and Environmental Security and Peace (HESP), and of SpringerBriefs in Environment, Security, Development and Peace (ESDP) with Springer-Verlag, He was guest professor of international relations at the universities of Frankfurt on Main, Leipzig, Greifswald, and Erfurt; research associate at Heidelberg and Stuttgart universities, and a research fellow at Harvard and Stanford Universities. He teaches at the Free University of Berlin, SciencePo (Paris), and European Peace University (EPU, Schlaining, Austria). He has published books, reports, book chapters, and articles on security, armament, climate, energy, and migration, and on Mediterranean issues in English, German, Spanish, Greek, French, Danish, Finnish, Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, Serbo-Croatian, and Turkish.

Peter Michael Link (Germany) is a post-doctoral scientist at the Research Group Climate Change and Security (CLISEC) of the KlimaCampus Hamburg and at the Institute of Geography of the University of Hamburg, Germany. His main research interest is the numeric modelling of societal and economic impacts of climate change in different regions of the world. The current focus of his research is on the implications of changes in water availability in the Nile basin on societal stability. In his doctoral thesis he assessed the economic impacts of a shutdown of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation on the fisheries in the Barents Sea. He has also published on the ecological and economic consequences of agricultural land use changes in northern Germany. P. Michael Link holds a diploma in Geography from the Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel, Germany and a B.A. in Environmental Sciences from the University of California in Berkeley. Link

Janpeter Schilling (Germany) is a research associate and doctoral student in the research group Climate Change and Security (CLISEC) at the Institute for Geography of the University of Hamburg, Germany. He is a member of the School of Integrated Climate System Sciences (SICSS) at the KlimaCampus in Hamburg. His main research interests are the linkages between climate change and conflict as well as vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, particularly in Africa. In his doctoral thesis he focuses on the implications of climate change for pastoral conflicts in northern Kenya. He has published on climate change and conflict in general and especially in North and East Africa. He holds a diplom degree in geography from the University of Hamburg.


Author of Forewords


Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria) served as Nigeria’s military Head of State (1976-1979) and President (1999-2007). He was Special Envoy to the Secretary General of the UN to the Great Lakes Region of Africa (2008-2009). He was Co-Chairman of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group on South Africa (1986); Chairperson-in-Office, Commonwealth of Nations (2003-2005); Chairperson, African Union Assembly of Heads of States and Governments (2004-2006). He chaired the Group of 77. He is a founding member of the Inter-Action Council, a member of the African Progress Panel and a participant of the Clinton Global Summit. He is also a member of the Club du Madrid. President Obasanjo played a pivotal role in the regeneration of the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). He has supported the deepening and widening of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). President Obasanjo was involved in international mediation efforts in Namibia, Angola, South Africa, Mozambique and Burundi. He founded the Africa Leadership Forum (1988) and Centre for Human Security (2009).

Connie Hedegaard (Denmark) has been EU Commissioner for Climate Action since February 2010. In August 2004 she became Danish Minister for the Environment and in 2007 she set up the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy and prepared the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. In 1984 she was elected to the Danish Parliament as a member for the Conservative People's Party as the youngest Danish MP. In 1989, she became first spokesperson for the Conservative People’s Party. Besides her political career, she has had a long career in journalism. Apart from working as a politician and journalist, Connie Hedegaard has sat on a number of committees and boards, including chairing the Centre for Cultural Cooperation with Developing Countries (CKU) and as a member of the board of the Danish Parliament’s Democracy Foundation. Lastly, she has received various prizes for her involvement in and contributions to the social debate, due in great part to her wide-ranging activities as a lecturer and author. Connie Hedegaard lives in Brussels and in Hellerup, Denmark with her husband, Jacob, and their two sons. Hedegaard
Figueres Christiana Figueres (Costa Rica) is Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 2010. She has been involved in climate change negotiations since 1995 when she founded the Center for Sustainable Development of the Americas (CSDA), a non-profit think tank for climate change policy and capacity-building, which she directed until 2003. From 1994 to 1996, she served as Director of the Technical Secretariat Renewable Energy in the Americas (REIA). In 1982 she was Minister Counsellor at the Embassy of Costa Rica in Bonn, Germany, Director of International Cooperation in the Ministry of Planning in Costa Rica (1987-1988), and Chief of Staff to the Minister of Agriculture (1988-90). She is also a widely published author on the design of climate solutions, and has been a frequent adviser to the private sector on how to play a leadership role in mitigation. She holds a master’s degree in Anthropology from the London School of Economics, and a certificate in Organizational Development from Georgetown University. She is married and has two children.
Dr. R.K. Pachauri (India) was Chief Executive of TERI since 1981, since April 2001 as Director-General. In April 2002 he was elected as Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Dr. Pachauri has a PhD in Industrial Engineering and a PhD in Economics. He has been on several international and national committees, as President (1988) and Chairman (1989-90) of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE), President of the Asian Energy Institute (since 1992,) and Member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan (since April 1999). He was awarded many distinguished prizes, including the ‘Padma Bhushan’ (2001) and the Padma Vibhushan’ (2008), both by the President of India. He was honoured as ‘Officier De La Légion D’Honneur’ by the French Government (2006), as ‘Commander of the Order of Leopold II’ by the King of the Belgium (2009); ‘Commander of the Order of the White Rose of Finland’ by the Prime Minister of Finland (2010) and ‘The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star’ by His Majesty Akihito, Emperor of Japan (2010). He was appointed as Director, Yale Climate and Energy Institute, in July 2009. Pachauri


About the Authors

Frank Biermann (Germany/The Netherlands), Professor, Head of the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis of the Institute for Environmental Studies at the VU University Amsterdam.

Ingrid Boas (UK), Ph.D. candidate at the University of Kent, UK.

Halvard Buhaug (Norway), Senior Researcher at the Centre for the Study of Civil War (CSCW), Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), leader, Centre’s Working Group on Environmental Factors in Civil War.

Joshua W. Busby (United States), Assistant Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs, Crook Distinguished Scholar, Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, University of Texas, Austin.

Alexander Carius (Germany), Director and Co-founder of adelphi.

Anis Chowdhury (Australia/Bangladesh), Professor, University of Western Sydney (Australia), Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the UN , New York.

Olivier Degomme (Belgium), medical doctor (Ghent University) who has specialized in epidemiology at the University of Louvain.

Kerstin Fritzsche (Germany), project manager at adelphi.

Gasmelseid, Tagelsir Mohamed (Sudan), Associate Professor at the King Faisal University, Al Ahsaa, Saudi Arabia.

Debarati Guha-Sapir (India/Belgium), Director of the WHO collaborating Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) and Professor, University of Louvain, Research Institute Health and Society, Brussels.

Judith Nora Hardt (Germany/France), Ph.D. fellow, University of the Basque Country, Spain.

Cord Jakobeit (Germany), Professor of Political Science and Chair of International Politics at the University of Hamburg.

Tasos Karafoulidis (Greece) obtained a Ph.D. at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 2011.

Bo Kjellén (Sweden), Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) since 2003. He was Ambassador in Hanoi.

Jasmin Kominek (Germany), Ph.D. candidate in sociology, University of Hamburg, Germany.

Dennis Kumetat (Germany), Ph.D. scholar since 2008, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Gerrit Kurtz (Germany), graduate student in international relations at the universities of Berlin and Potsdam.

Eric F. Lambin (Belgium), Professor, University of Louvain, Department of Geography, Belgium; Ishiyama Professorship, School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University, and Woods Institute for the Environment.

Kalev Leetaru (United States), Coordinator of Information Technology and Research, University of Illinois; Senior Research Scientist for Content Analysis, Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Science, Center Affiliate of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

Shuaib Lwasa (Uganda), Lecturer, Department of Environmental Management, Makerere University.

Achim Maas (Germany), senior project manager, adelphi.

Clemens Messerschmid (Germany) is a hydrogeologist, Ph.D. candidate, Universities of Göttingen and Freiburg.

Chris Methmann (Germany), research associate and Ph.D. candidate at the Chair for International Politics, University of Hamburg.

Ruchi Mudaliar (India), Ph.D. candidate, Bhopal, India.

Paul Isolo Mukwaya (Uganda), part-time Lecturer, Department of Geography, Geo-informatics and Climatic Sciences, Makerere University.

Syed Mansoob Murshed (Bangladesh/The Netherlands/UK), Professor, Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in the Netherlands, Professor, Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham, UK.

Peter F. Nardulli (United States), Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, founding Director of the Cline Center for Democracy, editor of a book series with University of Illinois Press.

Beth Njeri Njiru (Kenya), tutorial fellow and a researcher at Kenyatta University, School of Environmental Studies in Nairobi, Kenya.

Angela Oels (Germany), post-doctoral researcher, Cluster of Excellence Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction (CliSAP), University of Hamburg.

Úrsula Oswald Spring (Mexico), Professor/Researcher, National University of Mexico (UNAM), Regional Multidisciplinary Research Center (CRIM), national coordinator of water research (RETAC-CONACYT).

Felix Ries (Germany), social anthropologist, (MA, University of Göttingen).

Parul Rishi (India), Assistant Professor, Faculty of Human Resource Management at the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal.

Tore Rørbæk (Denmark), Lecturer in International Politics at the Royal Danish Defence College and Instructor in International Relations Theory at the University of Copenhagen.

Delf Rothe (Germany). doctoral student, University of Hamburg.

Jayant K. Routray (India), Professor and Coordinator of the Disaster Preparedness, Mitigation, and Management (Interdisciplinary Academic Programme) at the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok.

Pedram Rowhani (Luxembourg/UK), since 2011 Lecturer, University of Sussex, UK

Sujan Saha (Bangladesh/Denmark), independent researcher and consultant in Denmark.

Md. Mustafa Saroar (Bangladesh), Associate Professor, Khulna University, Bangladesh.

Hannington Sengendo (Uganda), Associate Professor, Department of Architecture and Physical Planning, Makerere University, Uganda.

Dan Smith (UK), Secretary-General of International Alert. Chairman, UN Peacebuilding Fund’s Advisory Group.

Todd G. Smith (United States), Ph.D. student, LBJ School of Public Affairs, Austin, Texas.

Andy Spiess (Germany), founder president, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Network for Drylands Research and Development (NDRD).

Shawn M. Strange (United States), manager of the Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center, an initiative of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

Mohammad Zulfan Tadjoeddin (Indonesia): Ph.D., Lecturer in Economics, University of Western Sydney.

Dennis Tänzler (Germany), senior project manager, adelphi.

Ole Magnus Theisen (Norway), Ph.D. candidate, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Centre for the Study of Civil War at the International Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).

Maria Julia Trombetta (Italy/The Netherlands), researcher, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.

Oscar Edoror Ubhenin (Nigeria), lecturer in public administration, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma,

Janani Vivekananda (UK), Senior Climate Change and Security Adviser, International Alert’s Security and Peacebuilding Programme.

Linda Wallbott (Germany): research assistant, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt on Main, Germany.

Peter Wallensteen (Sweden), Dag Hammarskjöld Professor of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University since 1985, Richard G. Starmann, Sr. Research Professor of Peace Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA since 2006.

Kaiba L. White (United States), research associate, Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) programme, Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, Austin, Texas.

Steve Wright (UK), Reader, Applied Global Ethics, Co-Director, Praxis Centre, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK.


The Research Group Climate Change and Security (CLISEC) conducts multidisciplinary research and education on potential security risks, social instabilities and conflicts induced by climate change and on strategies for international cooperation, conflict management and sustainable peace..

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Publisher's Corner

This eighth volume of the Hexagon Book Series on
Human, Environmental Security and Peace: HESP
was made possible by a research grant of the Cluster of Excellence (EXC177)
on Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction (CliSAP) at the University of Hamburg
that supported the conference and this book that is funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG).