Date of Completion

8-9-2019

Embargo Period

8-9-2022

Keywords

Climate Change, Internally Displaced Persons, Conflict, Violence, Human Displacement, Spatial Analysis, Quantitative Analysis, Natural Disaster, Flood, Storm

Major Advisor

Jennifer Sterling-Folker

Associate Advisor

David L. Richards

Associate Advisor

Mark A. Boyer

Field of Study

Political science

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access

Abstract

I engage environmental scholarship by focusing on internal human displacement – people whose lives are adversely affected by natural disasters associated with climate change, and, do not cross an international border. Human displacement is increasing as rising global temperatures worsen natural disasters. Human displacement is an understudied intervening condition that I show links climate change to conflict.

I follow the trend of disaggregating conflict by taking advantage of new event-based datasets to explore multiple conflict types. Statistical analyses found anti-government conflict and protest are the two conflict types that significantly increase following disaster-induced displacement. The relationship between disaster-induced displacement and conflict is significantly curvilinear with country regime type, producing the expected inverted-U shape from mixed regimes having the highest conflict incidence, in comparison to autocracies and democracies. The incidence of anti-government conflict and protest show two peaks around 3 and 10 months after disaster-induced displacement (in northern hemispheric countries). Finally, a case study of Bangladesh and its 64 subnational administrative units found that disaster-induced displacement and conflict do not spatially overlap, a finding that suggests migration away from disaster epicenters.

My research design and methods show how disaggregation of concepts and units of analysis can reveal empirical patterns that would otherwise be undetectable. My findings additionally have policy implications that range from affirmation of the contested assertion that climate change and conflict are related, to better determining when and where relief and reconstruction efforts can have the best chance of mitigating increased conflict incidence.

Available for download on Tuesday, August 09, 2022

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