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18 April 2010

Research Assesses Political Vulnerability to Climate Change

Political Marginalization, Climate Change, and Conflict in African Sahel States by CCAPS researcher Clionadh Raleigh discusses the probability of increased communal conflict in African states due to the "˜"˜political vulnerability'' of groups to climate change. From an initial examination of communal conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa, the risk of conflict depends largely on the size and political importance of ethnic groups.

 Environmental issues can be catalysts to low-level conflict in marginalized communities, but the critical factor is the extent of political and economic marginalization. Small, politically insignificant ethnic groups experience most conflicts related to environmental pressures. This framework informs a prediction of where we should expect to see high levels of politically induced vulnerability and resultant intra- and intercommunal conflicts.

The full paper is available here.

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