Environmental Scarcity and International Conflict

Environmental Scarcity and International Conflict

Source: Conflict Management and Peace Science Journal, 2003

Author(s): Phillip Stalley

Topics: Conflict Causes, Peace and Security Operations, Renewable Resources

Added: 07/02/2017


Since the end of the Cold War, scholars have increasingly tumed their attention to examining the link between depletion of renewable resources and conflict. Within this environmental security literature, academic opinion varies across a wide spectrum with some predicting a dark future of environmental "resource wars" both between and within nations, while others question the extent to which environmental variables play any role in inducing conflict. This paper builds on the findings of previous case and statistical studies and presents a cross-national, time-series multivariate analysis of the relationship between militarized international disputes and the environmental variables most commonly cited in the qualitative literature-freshwater, soil, fish, and population. These environmental variables are tested individually and in combination, while controlling for other conflict-generating factors. The general finding is that states suffering from greater levels of environmental scarcity are more likely to be involved in a militarized international dispute.


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