Where climate change is most likely to induce food violence
Study finds capable governments more important than weather
From the OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY via Eurekalert
COLUMBUS, Ohio – While climate change is expected to lead to more violence related to food scarcity, new research suggests that the strength of a country’s government plays a vital role in preventing uprisings.
“A capable government is even more important to keeping the peace than good weather,” said Bear Braumoeller, co-author of the study and associate professor of political science at The Ohio State University.
While previous studies had examined the impact of climate change-induced weather patterns on violence and the increased danger of violence in weak or failing states, this is the first study to demonstrate that the combination of the two risk factors is even more dangerous than they would be separately.
Braumoeller conducted the study with his former doctoral students Benjamin Jones, now at the University of Mississippi, and Eleonora Mattiacci, now at Amherst College.
Their results appear in the Journal of Peace Research.
“We’ve already started to see climate change as an issue that won’t just put the coasts under water, but as something that could cause food riots in some parts of the world,” Braumoeller said.
Extreme weather such as droughts and floods could hurt agricultural production in some countries, leading to violence there or elsewhere by people who are desperate for food.
“Climate-induced food scarcity is going to become an increasingly big issue and we wanted to understand which countries are most threatened by it,” he said.
The researchers estimated the effects of food insecurity and state vulnerability on the occurrence of violent uprisings in Africa for the years 1991 to 2011.