Library Dissertation Showcase

An analysis of research approaches to the climate-conflict nexus in MENA regions

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2021

Global security is being increasingly threatened by climate change and accelerated warming. As such, academic literature aimed at analysing the climate-conflict nexus has proliferated. Recent conflicts, including the Syrian Civil War and Boko Haram Insurgency have created new opportunities to analyse the interactions between climate and conflict. This research project examines how methodologies employed by different epistemological constraints can generate pitfalls. More specifically, the research engages with opposing viewpoints stemming from scientific versus humanistic analyses. There are current studies which discuss the issue of quantitative dominance in the field; however, this study takes on a more stratified approach due to the initial categorisation by epistemology as opposed to strictly methodology. In engaging with the composite frameworks of climate-conflict literature and policy, by means of systematic literature review, this study aims to assess the relative dominance of positivism. In conducting a systematic review, the research area is found to be heavily diverse; with the notion of dominance constrained to select authors and methodologies. The themes of pragmatism and empirical reasoning are found to dictate the direction of knowledge production in favouring quantitative analyses, whilst narratives of abstraction and philosophy are mostly disregarded in policy. As a result, the identification of conflict drivers is found to be largely reductionist. There are recommendations to improve the robustness of nexus interpretations, many of which are informed by collaboration across multidisciplinary research areas.

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