Climate Change, Conflict, and Fragility: Getting the Institutions Right

  • Dan Smith
  • Janani Vivekananda
Part of the Hexagon Series on Human and Environmental Security and Peace book series (HSHES, volume 8)


The impact of climate change and climate variability is not determined by natural changes alone. The impact upon people of changed timing of the monsoon, shifting patterns of typhoons, and longer dry and more intense wet seasons is determined also by a number of complex and interacting factors and conditions. These factors centre around the capacity of affected communities to adapt, which may itself be influenced by degrees of poverty and inequality; or by the quality of governance, which may itself be shaped by the legacy of past conflicts, the development trajectory, political instability, and ethnic fault lines. We have argued that, as climate change interacts with other features of the social, economic, and political landscape, many countries face a high risk of political instability and violent conflict (Smith/Vivekananda 2007). The risk of conflict both adds to the burdens faced by deprived and vulnerable communities and makes it harder for them to reduce their vulnerability by adapting to climate change. In sum, climate change and variability are not climate issues alone.


Climate Change Climate Change Impact Climate Change Adaptation Political Instability Briefer Treatment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LondonUK

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