B3 – Conflict and Cooperation at the Climate-Security Nexus
The Project explores the climate–security nexus of interactions between climate change and dynamics of insecurity, such as social instability, threats to physical safety or violent conflict. The impact of extreme weather events on human security and social stability, linkages of climate-related water and food insecurity with migration and conflict events, as well as new geostrategic landscapes emerging in regional “climate hot spots” all showcase increasingly complex climate-security interactions. How societies respond to these interactions has repercussions for the possibility and plausibility of climate futures, which in turn affect security dynamics.
To investigate the diversity of climate-security interactions, the project asks:
- How are climate and security challenges interconnected in complex crisis constellations?
- How do different societal groups and core actors deal with climate-change related security challenges and how do they imagine and prepare for the future?
- What effects do the identified social coping strategies and practices have for the emergence of specific plausible and possible climate futures?
Our research contributes to a better understanding of emerging social answers, resilient communities and forms of cooperation, as well as new conflicts and social divisions at the climate-security interface. Resilience here means the preparedness and therefore capacity to absorb consequences of disturbances and disasters while retaining central functions and structures. Going beyond existing research on causal relations between climate change and conflict, the project focuses on varieties of social coping strategies. The project investigates how adaptation and mitigation strategies can be oriented not only towards increased conflict (about the distribution of natural resources, access to geostrategic locations etc.), but also towards new forms of cooperation (e.g., peace- and community-building) in the face of often translocal risks and complex crises.
The project investigates a set of crucial social responses, coping strategies and resilience practices to address the security risks and challenges related to climate change. Empirically, the project studies both the development and practical use of different scenarios to understand how actors – from military strategists to disaster planners and local community initiatives – sketch and imagine plausible futures, prepare for them, and ultimately contribute to shaping this very future. We examine scenario building as a social technology used by different security communities to hedge against, prepare for and act upon different climate-security futures and related risks. The contribution to the overarching CLICCS goal thus lies in identifying plausible patterns of conflict and cooperation at the climate-security nexus.
- Workshop "Scenarios and the Politics of the Future", 14th - 1th November 2019, Workshop Programme (PDF)