Projecting long-term armed conflict risk: an underappreciated field of inquiry?

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Sophie Pieternel de Bruin, Jannis Hoch , Nina von Uexkull , Halvard Buhaug , Jolle Demmers, Hans Visser, Niko Wanders 


Little research has been done on projecting long-term conflict risks in response to climate change. Such projections are currently neither included in the development of socioeconomic scenarios or climate change impact assessments nor part of global agenda-setting policy processes. In contrast, in other fields of inquiry, long-term projections and scenario studies are established and relevant for both strategical agenda-setting and applied policies. Although making projections of armed conflict risk is surrounded by uncertainty, there are good reasons to further develop scenario projections of the future trajectory of armed conflict. In this perspective article we discuss why making quantitative projections of armed conflict in response to climate change is inherently uncertain, but necessary for shaping sustainable future policy agendas. We argue that both quantitative and qualitative projections can have a purpose in future climate projections and put out the challenges this poses for future research directions.



Environmental Studies, Human Geography, Nature and Society Relations, Social and Behavioral Sciences


climate change, armed conflict risk, science-policy interface, scenario development


Published: 2021-05-27 15:13

Last Updated: 2021-12-05 19:55

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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