A Call for Hermeneutical Perspectives on Climate Change and Conflict: The Case of Ethiopia and Eritrea
2012 (English)In: Journal of International Relations and Development, ISSN 1408-6980, E-ISSN 1581-1980, Vol. 15, no 1, 1-30 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Research on climate change and conflict has been conducted in ways that may lead us to overlook risks of conflicts and miss opportunities to prevent them. In response, this article formulates an analytical framework based on hermeneutical perspectives on social action.The main argument is that climate factors are not the main drivers of conflict under conditions of climate change. Instead, the main mechanisms are how actors interpret their historical experiences and roles as guides for future actions and how international structures shape the scope of action in a constitutive fashion.Previous research has tended to construct the past as an objective assemblage of occurrences. However, the past can never be an ‘objective’ series of events and causal connections. Actors always interpret the past and construct it as meaning-laden history. History, in turn, is fundamentally ambiguous; it can be constructed as a story that has to be continued or one that needs to be broken with. An analysis of the relation between Ethiopia and Eritrea illustrates the theoretical framework. It concludes that despite their past enmity, there is no imminent risk of conflict in connection with climate change but strong reasons for both actors to maintain status quo.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 15, no 1, 1-30 p.
Climate Change, Conflict, Causation, Horn of Africa, Systems Theory, Structural IR
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-145538DOI: 10.1057/jird.2011.14ISI: 000300546000001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-145538DiVA: diva2:396329