Catastrophes, Confrontations, and Constraints
How Disasters Shape the Dynamics of Armed Conflicts
- Winner of the First International Science Prize 2023 of the Hans Günter Brauch Foundation for Peace and Ecology in the Anthropocene (HGBS) on the Theme: Climate Change and Conflicts
304 pp., 6 x 9 in, 12 b&w illus.
- Published: June 6, 2023
- Publisher: The MIT Press
A ground-breaking study on how natural disasters can escalate or defuse wars, insurgencies, and other strife.
Armed conflict and natural disasters have plagued the twenty-first century. Not since the end of World War II has the number of armed conflicts been higher. At the same time, natural disasters have increased in frequency and intensity over the past two decades, their impacts worsened by climate change, urbanization, and persistent social and economic inequalities. Providing the first comprehensive analysis of the interplay between natural disasters and armed conflict, Catastrophes, Confrontations, and Constraints explores the extent to which disasters facilitate the escalation or abatement of armed conflicts—as well as the ways and contexts in which combatants exploit these catastrophes.
Tobias Ide utilizes both qualitative insights and quantitative data to explain the link between disasters and the (de-)escalation of armed conflict and presents over thirty case studies of earthquakes, droughts, floods, and storms in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. He also examines the impact of COVID-19 on armed conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and the Philippines.
Catastrophes, Confrontations, and Constraints is an invaluable addition to current debates on climate change, environmental stress, and security. Professionals and students will greatly appreciate the wealth of timely data it provides for their own investigations.
“This book is a must read for those who strive to nuance the simplistic yet dominant narratives about a climate–conflict nexus. Tobias Ide rigorously excavates the evidence and makes a compelling case for both analysts and policymakers.”
Marwa Daoudy, Associate Professor of International Relations and Seif Ghobash Chair in Arab Studies, Georgetown University
“Ide's book is a fantastically rich exposé of disaster–conflict interactions that uniquely combines detailed information on a large number of cases with broad conceptual discussions. An instant classic.”
Halvard Buhaug, Research Professor, Peace Research Institute Oslo
“Tobias Ide's thoughtful analysis of disaster–conflict interactions expands and deepens our knowledge of disaster diplomacy and related research. It provides new, important insights based on a well-balanced theoretical framework.”
Ilan Kelman, Professor of Disasters and Health, University College London and University of Agder
“A remarkable book well written by a leading scholar will inspire readers' wisdom and insights on the field of disaster and conflict based on detailed data and reasonable analysis.”
Dong Jiang, Professor, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences