The Threat Multiplier: Analyzing the Relationship between Climate Change and the Emergence of Violent Non-State Actors in Western Africa
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CitationCaron, Louis-Philippe. 2020. The Threat Multiplier: Analyzing the Relationship between Climate Change and the Emergence of Violent Non-State Actors in Western Africa. Master's thesis, Harvard University Division of Continuing Education.
AbstractThe impact of climate change on the growth of violent non-state actors is a hotly debated topic with great implications for the stability and growth of the Africa. In the last few years, several groups have made significant territorial gains and posed a real threat to national governments. The instability created by their presence and rising military and political power has great implications for core interests of the international community in the region. As Africa’s population is expected to double within the next 30 years, stability and economic growth within the continent are of the utmost importance to the African population, and the international community as a whole.
This study ought to analyze the emergence of violent non-state actors due to climate change and the threat they pose to national governments in Western Africa. Rather than focusing solely on classical terrorism, it shall adopt a comprehensive perspective of non-state violence in a contextualized context where terrorism, guerilla warfare, and insurgency are means to political ends.
The hypothesis advanced in this thesis is that climate change is increasingly contributing to fragility in West Africa by strengthening conflicts surrounding natural resources and livelihood insecurity through food insecurity or water and land scarcities. Such factors create a situation in which populations are more vulnerable to negative climate impacts and at the same time to recruitment by violent non-state actors who fill in the gaps left by ill-equipped national militaries that often times fail to secure regions at risk.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367511
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