Sustained drought, vulnerability and civil conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa
2014 (English)In: Political Geography, ISSN 0962-6298, E-ISSN 1873-5096, Vol. 43, no SI, 16-26 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
With climate change projections indicating a likely future increase in extreme weather phenomena, it is an urgent matter to assess the effect of drought on civil conflict. However, studies of this relationship so far provide inconclusive findings. One reason for this inconsistency is that existing research has not sufficiently taken into account the local vulnerability and coping capacity that condition the effect of drought. In particular, the exposure to sustained droughts undermines alternative coping mechanisms of individuals. Moreover, reliance on rainfed agriculture for income and food provision renders individuals particularly vulnerable to droughts. Based on these observations, I suggest that areas experiencing sustained droughts or depending on rainfed agriculture are more likely to see civil conflict following drought as individuals in these regions are more likely to partake in rebellion in order to redress economic grievances or to obtain food and income. Using novel high-resolution data on civil conflict events in Sub-Saharan Africa from 1989 to 2008, this paper evaluates the relationship between sustained drought, rainfed agriculture and civil conflict violence at the subnational level. In line with the argument, areas with rainfed croplands see an increased risk of civil conflict violence following drought. There is also some support for the proposition that areas experiencing sustained droughts have a higher risk of conflict. The results are robust to a wide range of model specifications.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 43, no SI, 16-26 p.
Civil conflict, Drought, Rainfed agriculture, Vulnerability, Sub-Saharan Africa, Climate change
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-243074DOI: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2014.10.003ISI: 000347023800003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-243074DiVA: diva2:787137