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Reversing the negative shift - Natural Resources and Environmental Peacebuilding
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Environmental issues in post-conflict societies have received greater attention over the last two decades. Gradually researchers focus not only on addressing the underlying causes of conflict, but also on laying the foundation for an ecologically, socially, and economically viable peace. The inclusion of peace as one of the UN Sustainable Development Goal’s (SDG) along with several ecological goals in 2015, has further recognizes this link between peace and environmental issues. As part of the SDG’s it is expected to continuously guide UN development actions in the coming decades. It is therefore a critical moment to reflect on the state of the research agenda and discuss its future direction.


In this forum I reflect on the contributions of the two dominant schools of environmental peacebuilding. Environmental peacebuilding focuses on the sustainable management of natural resources in post-war settings. I argue that two schools have emerged, which are distinct through their perception of environmental issues: the first school focuses on the potential of environmental cooperation for peace. I call this the positive school. The second school focuses rather on the risk of resource-induced conflicts in post-war situations and highlights pathways to overcome this risk. I call this the negative school. While the second school currently dominates the academic and especially policy debate and has produced an abundance of empirical case studies, I assert that this school was so far ineffective in developing the theoretical understanding of environmental peacebuilding. To that end, I argue for a refocusing to the theoretical driven roots of the first school of environmental peacebuilding and propose pathways for future research that will contribute to both schools and develop a more substantial understanding of the potential that environmental issues in post-war settings.

Keyword [en]
Environmental Peacebuilding, Peace, review
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-275015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-275015DiVA: diva2:898326
Available from: 2016-01-27 Created: 2016-01-27 Last updated: 2016-02-09Bibliographically approved

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Krampe, Florian
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Department of Peace and Conflict Research
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