Theory seminar: States and Nature – The Effects of Climate Change on Security
Joshua Busby, University of Texas-Austin, will present the main argument and empirical work from his draft book manuscript.
Over the past decade, a rich literature on the connections between climate change and security emerged, much of it quantitative on the links between climate change and violent internal conflict. In this book manuscript, Busby seeks to widen the aperture of security concerns to include major humanitarian emergencies. Through the study of paired cases, he explores why countries that face similar physical exposure to climate hazards experience different outcomes. His argument combines state capacity, the degree of political inclusion, and the role of international assistance to explain differences between countries as well as within countries over time. Countries with low state capacity, high political exclusion, and where assistance is denied or delivered in a one-sided manner are expected to have the worst security outcomes in the wake of exposure to climate hazards. While assistance can sometimes compensate for weak state capacity, improvements in capacity and inclusion can diminish the risks of climate-related emergencies and conflict. In this talk, Busby will compare the experience of Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar to cyclones.
Joshua Busby is an Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Climate and Security. He has been part of two U.S. Department of Defense-funded research projects on climate and security and his work on the topic has been published in Foreign Affairs, World Development, Climatic Change, Political Geography, International Security, Security Studies, among other publications.