B3 – Conflict and Cooperation at the Climate-Security Nexus
B3 investigates the multiple facets of the climate-security nexus, i.e. the interrelations between climate change and threats to human security, conflict dynamics, as well social and political stability. We orient our work within three thematic trajectories: The first concerns the empirical manifestation and the conceptualization of the climate-security nexus itself. This includes the impact of extreme weather events on human security and social stability, linkages of climate-related water and food insecurity with migration and conflicts, as well as new geostrategic landscapes emerging in regional “climate hot spots”. The second is concerned with societal coping mechanisms in the face of the climate-security nexus, i.e. resilience strategies and new forms of cooperation emerging in the face of climate-related security challenges. The third trajectory investigates the role of the nexus in future orientations, i.e. planning and preparedness, scenario building as well as future imaginations.
Most recent findings:
- We have built a framework of complex interactions of climate and conflict risk (Scheffran 2020) and have established the different ways in which climate change works as a “risk multiplier” in fragile regions and hotspots of Africa where poverty, violence, injustice, social insecurity and vulnerability are prevalent (Scheffran et al. 2019).
- We have outlined multiple pathways and connecting mechanisms, including climate vulnerability (Schilling et al. 2020), extreme weather events (Scheffran 2020), climate migration and mobility (Kamta et al. 2021; Rothe et al. 2021), water security (Ide et al. 2020), land use (Jahanifar et al. 2019) and tipping points in conflict regions (Rodriguez-Lopez et al. 2019).
- We have proposed a new approach for assessing climate change impact on agriculture and the the need for conflict-sensitive adaptation through the example of cotton production in Bangladesh (Nadiruzzaman et al. 2021).
- We have identified cooperative dynamics in cases of environmental peacebuilding (Hardt/Scheffran 2019), and have, in close collaboration with the Social Research and Development Institute (SORADI) in Somaliland mapped and analyzed local forms of environmental peacebuilding and collaboration in the face of climate change induced insecurity in Somaliland (Fadal and Moe 2021).
- We have initiated a new research agenda and published the first textbook on international politics and security in the Anthropocene (Chandler, Müller and Rothe 2021).
- We have investigated the role of apocalyptic imaginations on the future of the planet for fueling or impeding political transformation (Hentschel 2022).
- In a series of international workshops, we exchanged ideas with colleagues around the world: we investigated scenarios for future societal life under conditions of large-scale instability in scenarios by focusing on the politics of the future at the climate-security nexus. And we hosted the international workshop From a Climate-Security Nexus of Conflicts to a Nexus of Synergies: Climate change action for peacebuilding and human security in December 2021, with about 70 scholars from across the globe.
- Our project members have actively contributed to policy outreach; in workshops and consultancy for the German Bundestag, the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Bank. Jürgen Scheffran was a member of the Commission on the Root Causes of Displacement of the German Government; and an author in the report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
- B3 members and their colleagues presented their take on the emerging challenges at the climate-security nexus to a broad audience in Germany, as part of the yearly Friedensgutachten 2020 (Peace Report), a policy and societal outreach project of the four leading peace research institutes in Germany.
In the coming years, our contribution to CLICCS will be to provide sociologically and politically inflected answers on the question of how to investigate possible and plausible climate futures by 1) contributing to a societal perception of climate-related insecurities and the struggles for urgent political transformation; 2) investigating futures through the lens of political actors and social groups in their efforts to plan, prepare, envision or speculate; 3) building a better understanding of how knowledge on insecure climate futures is being produced and circulated – e.g. through scenario development or modelling; 4) taking into account the unequal exposure of different groups to extreme weather events and the possible social dynamics, both conflictual, and cooperative, that ensue in the struggle for safety in a climate-changed world.
- Workshop "Scenarios and the Politics of the Future", 14th - 15th November 2019, Workshop Programme (PDF)
Workshop "From a Climate-Security Nexus of Conflicts to a Nexus of Synergies: Climate change action for peacebuilding and human security“, 2nd - 3rd December 2021
International Workshop on Climate Security: Toward a critical conceptualization, 28-30 September 2022 with public authors meet critics roundtable on Thursday, September 29th: Rethinking security in times of the global ecological crisis