Abstract

Scholars of environmental politics and policy experts have long debated whether climate change can be linked to violent conflict. I present a new framework called human–environmental–climate security (HECS), which integrates critiques of traditional security frameworks while offering a systematized method of process tracing. Using existing concepts of vulnerability and resilience, I illustrate the empirical utility of centering the human subject and local conceptions of security when analyzing the role of climate in armed conflict. I develop this framework using the cases of Syria, Sudan, and Morocco. I argue that the ecological drivers of conflicts in Sudan and Syria are best understood as a result of policy decisions that reflected the ideology and preferences of ruling elites rather than direct functions of climate change. Conversely, I present the case of Morocco as a counterfactual in which sound government policy attenuated environmental drivers of conflict. In doing so, this approach considers the impacts of international and domestic structures of inequality on people’s climate vulnerability and resilience.

For decades, scholars and policy makers have drawn connections between climate change and conflict. Climate change is thought to be at the root of certain conflicts, with its associated famines, natural disasters, and human migration cited as their main drivers. This reductive approach raises profound empirical and normative issues. They range from denying the responsibility of local governments who fail to mitigate the impact of climate change to replicating neoimperialist narratives about the Global South. The chief contribution of this is to deconstruct this conflict–climate nexus while offering a framework to appreciate the political, social, and economic factors that negotiate how climate change impacts human security. This new approach is one that draws on the tools of environmental security, human security, and critical security studies (Daoudy 2020). My argument is one of cross-pollination, and I entitle my framework human–environmental–climate security (HECS).1 By recentering the human subject while highlighting systems of inequality, this approach allows for a critical appraisal of the mechanisms of the climate–conflict nexus.

Given Syria’s and Sudan’s outsized roles in the climate–conflict nexus debate, this study illustrates the utility of this new framework as applied to these cases. I supplement these cases with a comparison to Morocco as a counterfactual—when conflict did not follow high levels of climate-induced drought. For Syria, I rely on government documents, published expert statements, and interviews carried out in Lebanon and Turkey from 2014 to 2016. My investigation of Sudan and Morocco involves process tracing using secondary sources from local and international scholars, United Nations data, and published interviews.

I first survey narratives on the climate–conflict nexus, including the notion of climate change as a “threat multiplier,” the securitization of the environment as an analytical object, and environmental determinism. In response, I deploy existing concepts of vulnerability and resilience as the foundation of how HECS considers political, economic, and social variables. Second, I further develop my framework by turning to emerging trends in critical security studies that offer additional scaffolding to a holistic approach to the climate–conflict nexus. I illustrate how HECS widens these approaches, which suffer from overly prescriptive and normative modes of inquiry. Third, I illustrate the empirical utility of HECS with case studies, displacing deterministic understandings of the climate–conflict nexus and Western-centric conceptions of security. HECS allows us to account for vulnerability and resilience at the community level, recentering the human subject in security debates. It also allows for consideration of structural factors, the role of ideology and policy, and the “feedback loops” of global capitalism. I conclude by summarizing these arguments while offering several paths of inquiry this new approach might serve in future research.

The Climate–Conflict Nexus

Framed within discussions of climate security, climate–conflict narratives focus on the risks posed by climate change to human and ecological life. In particular, threats are perceived to arise from drought and famine in vulnerable areas of the world (Dalby 2017, 9). The link is intuitive: fewer resources means more fighting over resources. Also key to the climate–conflict nexus is the idea that climate change is a “threat multiplier” that compounds existing issues to increase the likelihood of violent conflict and “exacerbating other threats to security” (Werrell and Femia 2015). Although the term threat multiplier remains lacking in rigor and precision, it has largely translated into how the media and politicians alike securitize climate threats. It also artificially separates climate threats from complex political processes. A report by the CNA Corporation (2007, 21) notes that “struggles that appear to be tribal, sectarian, or nationalist in nature are often triggered by reduced water supplies or reductions in agricultural productivity.”

The assumptions underlying the threat multiplier hypothesis are rooted in a variety of deterministic perspectives on resource scarcity and abundance. The Toronto School and the Bern-Zürich Group developed the notion of “environmental scarcity” during the 1990s, paving the way for alarmist predictions of resource wars because of decreased environmental resources induced by population growth and water depletion (Homer-Dixon 1994, 18–20). Resource curse theorists proposed that abundance, rather than scarcity, of natural resources leads to low economic growth, corruption, poor governance, and resource capture. In this framework, low economic growth results from mismanagement of resources and concentration in one industry, as in rentier states, while corruption naturally ensues from capture of rents and price inflation related to these resources. Greed and grievances theory establishes a powerful connection between the abundance of primary commodity exports like diamonds, oil, and other strategic resources and the likelihood of disputes over the control of such resources (Fearon 2005). These models predict the emergence of civil conflicts on the basis of state strength, poverty, and resource abundance (Koubi et al. 2014, 238).

Yet these theories developed about nonrenewable resources suffer from oversimplification. Evidence shows that states rich in resources experience a wide variety of economic outcomes, which suggests institutions are key to explaining the lack of conflict (Mehlum et al. 2006). Moreover, there is evidence that the location, type, and duration of conflict within a state significantly impact the determination of any potential link between conflict and resource scarcity (Fearon 2005). Ultimately, referring to institutional arrangements and ideology as separate from one another fails to interrogate how scarcity is deliberately constructed by political actors and conflates political mechanisms with environmental ones. Challenges to this narrative on cases like Syria (Hendrix 2017; Selby 2018; Selby et al. 2017), while focusing primarily on climatological data and the absence of well-integrated political analysis, can be situated within larger concerns raised by scholars regarding the implications of an overgeneralized climate–conflict hypothesis. For example, Selby (2018) argues that shifts in the agrarian political economy of Syria were more important than climate change in fueling unrest in 2011. HECS seeks to formalize and expand upon these critiques, forming a coherent model of process tracing that situates how climate compounds existing systemic issues within local power systems while also appropriately weighing the agency of domestic and local actors.

Resolving this gap holds policy implications given the feedback loop between scholarship and public discourse. When pictures of little Aylan found dead on a Turkish beach were widely disseminated, the Canadian National Observer proclaimed, “This is what a climate refugee looks like” (Dinshaw 2015). Some assert that this kind of reporting about climate constitutes social drama, building on existing biases that decrease the likelihood of effective policy intervention (Smith and Howe 2015). These narratives can justify repressive measures to stop human mobility, feeding perceptions of the responsibility of “environmental migrants” rather than authoritarian regimes. It also depicts governments in the Global South as passive victims rather than political actors capable of making their own policy to address climate instability. This is particularly apparent when governments and their policies are at the root of unrest and conflict, as in the Syrian and Sudanese cases (De Châtel 2014; Selby and Hoffmann 2014). As the following sections illustrate, these presumably direct effects of drought in Syria and Sudan cited by proponents of the climate–conflict nexus are part of a far more complex causal chain.

The Foundation of a New Model: Vulnerability, Resilience, and Structures

The HECS model is predicated on an assessment of vulnerability, resilience, and structures. The visual representation of the HECS framework in Figure 1 shows how climate security, political factors, economic security, and water and food security interact.

Figure 1

Human–Environmental–Climate Security

Figure 1

Human–Environmental–Climate Security

This perspective focuses on three primary factors in reconstructing an analysis of the impact of climate on human life: structures, vulnerability, and resilience. In the context of human security, these concepts depend on an understanding of the concept of sustainability. Pioneers of human security like Sen (2000) and Ul-Haq (1995) agree that the most pressing risk to human security is the inability to provide sufficient resources to sustain human and ecological life. The most essential of these resources are food and water. Water security and food security, defined as “a state in which all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food” (Coates 2013), is, therefore, the foundation of the HECS model. While a variety of conceptions of food security exist, I draw on Sen’s (1981) entitlement approach, which shifts the focus from scarcity to socioeconomic dimensions of access to food (Burchi and De Muro 2015, 12). This kind of access is facilitated or hindered by local, regional, and global inequality. The HECS framework, therefore, places freedom from want and “a life of dignity” as central to understanding threats to human life. Sustainability is not a matter just of sufficient resources but also of equitable power relationships (Ul-Haq 1995, 32). Power relationships define the agency of various actors, and incorporating them into a framework of the climate–conflict nexus makes “a life of dignity” a measurement of an empirical matter.

Vulnerability and resilience are parallel concepts that reveal how a lack of sustainability in combination with specific structural inequalities threatens human life through the inability of systems to cope with unexpected change (UNDP 2010, 20). Per Dalby (2013, 128), vulnerability is a “complex social and ecological situation” related to “social and economic entitlements” of a specific community. For HECS, vulnerability captures the feedback effects between different types of human insecurity precisely because it focuses on specific contexts while calling attention to structural inequalities. HECS deploys vulnerability to identify disruptions to patterns of daily life from the perspective of the marginalized and dispossessed. These include chronic water insecurity, land degradation, arable land scarcity, food insecurity, and poverty. The HECS framework of recentering the human subject is not merely a normative question but an empirical matter of appraising the political economy and power structures that define how the state and communities become more vulnerable to climate variability during periods of drought. While recent work (e.g., Sovacool and Linnér 2016) advances promising systematic approaches to the political economy of climate change adaptation, this line of inquiry does not engage with civil conflict as an outcome.

Working in connection with vulnerability are resilience factors. Wisner et al. (2004, 11) define resilience as “the characteristics of a person or group and their situation that influence their capacity to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impact of a natural hazard.” Increasingly, resilience is deployed in the policy world with a range of conceptualizations, some of which have been criticized as responsibilizing vulnerable individuals and groups to behave as “model neoliberal subjects” (Ransan-Cooper et al. 2015, 111). In response, others, such as Ferguson (2014), have sought to disambiguate resilience into separate categories: neoliberal, strategic, ecological, and social. Social resilience is defined as a concept whose fundamental purpose is to “alleviate human vulnerability through systemic transformation to build the capacity of communities to provide their own security.” Ecological resilience “departs from social resilience by adopting a systemic referent (ecosystems) rather than a discrete referent (communities),” which in turn “challenges both strategic and neoliberal security frameworks by demonstrating the necessity for collective action, adaptive learning, and deliberative decision-making to meet climate security threats.” HECS applies a critical conceptualization that merges social and ecological resilience. While the approach centers the human subject, it defines resilience as a lack of vulnerability due to structural factors and elite decision-making.

As such, vulnerability and resilience show the relationship between political, economic, climate, and food/water insecurity identified by the HECS model, while considering the role played by government structures and policy choices. HECS represents an aggregation of emerging approaches within critical security and environmental studies, while also offering a more precise definition of how climate “multiplies” threats. To appreciate how the model differs from these approaches, it is important to revisit the utility and critiques of human security.

Utility and Critiques of Human Security

While the state has traditionally been the referent object of security, Ul-Haq (1995, 103–104) and Sen (2000) in their conception of human security place human beings as the referent objects of security by arguing that improving human lives should be an explicit development objective. They focus on vulnerability as an underlying premise of human security and tie human security to environmental and ecological concerns. Ogata and Sen (2003) define human security as “the necessity to protect vital freedoms by building on people’s strengths and aspirations … and protecting them from critical and pervasive threats and situations.” Human security is therefore based on the understanding that every human innately deserves the right to live free from risks and threats, including climate insecurity.

Yet human security faces three shortcomings. First, it tends to be overly normative. Critics deem human security to be a “reductionist notion that adds little analytical value” (Buzan 2004, 369), “normatively attractive but analytically weak,” and an “unsophisticated” concept (Newman 2004, 358; Newman 2010, 81). Second, human security fails to address how environmental factors interact with political, social, and institutional risks to foster conflict. In doing so, the literature places the onus for most of the causes and threats on the Global South, while requiring the intervention of “actors from outside, who inform, protect, and establish economic growth and good governance” (Hardt 2012, 217). Third, critics note that human security’s policy applications undermine its professed goals. Trombetta (2011, 139–140) argues that it advances the notion that “environmental security is not about the environment, it is about security; as a concept, it is at its most meaningless and malign … one cannot expect that an appeal to a human-centered security will provide different outcomes … from the appeals to environmental security.” As with critiques of the concept of resilience, others claim this approach falls within a neoliberal type of governance, one “which regards those governed responsible for their own fate” and often materializes these communities in the form of overwrought development aid, which is highly variable and may make “many of the most vulnerable … unprepared and unable to cope” (Oels 2012, 200). Similarly, Dalby argues that proponents of human security must acknowledge the feedback loops between international capitalism and control of environmental resources (Dalby 2013, 128).

Using vulnerability and resilience as core concepts, HECS responds to these shortcomings in three ways. The first is a matter of pluralistic source material and perspectives, drawing on critical security studies (Abboud et al. 2018; Acharya 2014; Bilgin 2017). This emerging field argues that the concept of security must be defined by how actors in specific contexts assess their security, provoking an examination of how scholars working from traditional concepts of security imbued the field with uncontested biases and values that prioritize the Global North (Bilgin 2017, 653). This approach yields impressive work but does not yet integrate questions of climate change. The second shortcoming—the prescriptive nature of human security—can be rectified using the localized approach from critical security studies, paving the way for a critical approach to climate security. HECS adopts this path by incorporating local sources and non-Western voices when examining cases in the Global South. Third, as mentioned, HECS deploys vulnerability and resilience as a means of appraising structure and elite agency rather than the responsibility of vulnerable communities to confront the effects of climate change.

Applying the HECS Model: Syria, Sudan, Morocco

The second contribution of HECS is its method of process tracing. In HECS, human climate security is a series of threats and vulnerabilities posed by variation in climate conditions and elite decisions. Rather than viewing each circle as ordered separately, HECS illustrates the liminal and co-constitutive connections between each layer. It is a method of process tracing that may begin at the outside or the very middle addressed specifically by how the concentric circles of HECS interact. For example, climate factors are both filtered through and constructed by political structure, but the human subject’s interaction with society-wide economic vulnerabilities is also constructed by his or her own water and food security. This section proceeds by turning to specific cases, where I work from the outside in. While Syria and Sudan are often portrayed as seminal examples of the climate–conflict nexus, Morocco offers a counterfactual application of HECS, illustrating how it can trace the resilience of countries that experience severe climatological variation but mitigate the risk of conflict. Given the paradoxical effects of Syria’s two droughts within the past twenty years, I develop this case extensively, while critiquing the climate–conflict nexus as applied to Sudan and incorporating examples from Morocco. Table 1 outlines these factors across the three cases under consideration. In doing so, I examine the applicability of the climate–conflict nexus debate to each of the cases in more detail in the following sections.

Table 1

A HECS-Based Comparison of Syria, Sudan, and Morocco

 SyriaSudanMorocco
Climate vulnerability Drought Drought Drought 
Political vulnerability Ideology: Contradictions between Ba’athism and neoliberalism Ideology: Post-Turabi Riverain Arab coalition Ideology: Pragmatic and adaptive 
Policy: Overly aggressive water and agricultural development Policy: Continuation of core–periphery resource exploitation Policy: Proactive and preventative—Maroc Vert 
  Ethnic tension Ethnic tension 
Resilience? NO NO YES 
Economic vulnerability High dependence on agriculture, especially Hassake High dependence on agriculture, especially Darfur High dependence on agriculture 
Uneven development Uneven development Pragmatic balance between free trade and protectionism 
Shifting social contracts (loss of subsidies/strategic crop program)     
Resilience? NO NO YES 
Social vulnerability International and internal migration Internal migration International migration hub 
Urban–rural divide Urban–rural divide Investment in jobs program for vulnerable population 
  Acute gendered marginalization   
Resilience? NO NO YES 
 SyriaSudanMorocco
Climate vulnerability Drought Drought Drought 
Political vulnerability Ideology: Contradictions between Ba’athism and neoliberalism Ideology: Post-Turabi Riverain Arab coalition Ideology: Pragmatic and adaptive 
Policy: Overly aggressive water and agricultural development Policy: Continuation of core–periphery resource exploitation Policy: Proactive and preventative—Maroc Vert 
  Ethnic tension Ethnic tension 
Resilience? NO NO YES 
Economic vulnerability High dependence on agriculture, especially Hassake High dependence on agriculture, especially Darfur High dependence on agriculture 
Uneven development Uneven development Pragmatic balance between free trade and protectionism 
Shifting social contracts (loss of subsidies/strategic crop program)     
Resilience? NO NO YES 
Social vulnerability International and internal migration Internal migration International migration hub 
Urban–rural divide Urban–rural divide Investment in jobs program for vulnerable population 
  Acute gendered marginalization   
Resilience? NO NO YES 

Climate Vulnerability and Climate–Conflict Nexuses

The outermost circle represents climate vulnerability. Environmental threats are sometimes categorized as the main drivers of conflict, but in reality they interact with economic and political factors at different levels, putting vulnerable communities at higher risk.

Syria became a showcase for “climate-induced” displacement and unrest, sparking a debate as to whether climate change contributed to the conflict (Ababsa 2015; De Châtel 2014; Femia and Werrell 2012, 2015; Fröhlich 2016; Gleick 2014, 2017; Hendrix 2017; Hoerling et al. 2012; Kelley et al. 2015, 2017; Selby 2018; Selby et al. 2017). The logic of the climate–conflict nexus is applied to Syria in the following manner: climate change caused a major drought in Syria from 2006 to 2010, the drought caused agricultural failure, and agricultural failure caused poverty and discontent—ultimately culminating in the uprising. This analysis centers on the northeast of Syria, particularly Hassake, which contains 42 percent of the country’s arable land and about 55 percent of total irrigated land (Al-Hindi 2010, 5). One paradox exists in this line of reasoning. Syria experienced two severe droughts in the two decades leading up to 2011 that affected the northeast’s vulnerability through two primary mechanisms: temperature increases and decreased rainfall. Yet the environmental effects of the 1998–2001 drought (Drought I) were more severe than those of the 2006–2010 drought (Drought II). During Drought I, temperatures increased by a yearly average of 5.07 percent. Drought II only averaged a 3.93 increase from predrought years. A similar discrepancy is reflected when comparing precipitation levels. The variability and mean of precipitation were less extreme during Drought II than during Drought I. The second drought’s larger impact on food and water insecurity must therefore be traced as a function of political and economic factors.

Scholars extend a similar climate-conflict logic to Sudan, pertaining to the conflict that erupted in Darfur in 2003. The literature cited how, before the conflict, rainfall decreased and desertification drove nomadic pastoralists farther south, clashing with sedentary agriculturalists (Sova 2017). De Juan argued that environmental change led to migration, migration led to demographic changes and resource competition, and these two factors increased the risk of violent conflict (De Juan 2015, 23). Since 1972, Darfur has experienced sixteen droughts, including a severe famine in the 1980s (Oxfam 2014, 5). Data from UNEP reveal a decrease in annual median rainfall by 16 percent in southern Darfur and 34 percent in the north when comparing average rainfall levels from the period of 1946–1975 to 1976–2005 (UNEP 2007, 60). Changing rainfall patterns also contributed to the rapid expansion of the Sahara in the decades before the outbreak of conflict in 2003 (Sova 2017). This desertification caused migration into southern Darfur. While it is clear that climate change contributed to environmental stress, and certainly aggravated mortality during the civil war (Mamdani 2009), a direct link between drought and conflict is reductive.

Morocco’s biophysical features also render the country vulnerable to drought, water scarcity, and food insecurity. The thirty-year period from 1971 to 2000 recorded a 15 percent decrease in the annual average water supply (Benassi 2008, 83) and the three most severe droughts in the country’s history to that date (1982–1983, 1983–1984, and 1994–1995), eclipsed only by the most recent drought of 2015–2016. Morocco is cited as the country most susceptible to climate change in North Africa, given its heavy reliance on agriculture (Schilling et al. 2012, 13). Every decade since 1970, Morocco has recorded an average annual temperature rise of 0.15 degrees higher than the global average (World Bank 2018b, 19). The 2015 drought was followed by insufficient and delayed rainfall in 2017. Because 85 percent of Morocco’s agricultural land receives moisture only from precipitation, experts discovered that had all dams in the country been at full capacity, there still would not have been an adequate water supply to solve drought-induced irrigation issues (Guerraoui 2018). Despite these climatic insecurities, pragmatism in Moroccan political ideology addressed and mitigated environmental vulnerabilities.

From the perspective of climate vulnerability, these three cases ought to tell similar stories. Yet Syria experienced a severe drought that did not result in conflict, followed by a less severe drought coinciding with civil war, while Sudan experienced climate variation with a gradual onset. The paradox of Syria is a case of inverted in-case variation, while Sudan is complicated by confounding variables that accrued over a long period. I explore these variables in the sections that follow. Morocco offers an additional problem when assessing purely climatic factors: despite its high susceptibility, no conflict occurred—only one example from a large universe of similar cases. Environmental factors can only be understood through the existing political stressors to human security. It is ultimately political actors who aggravate vulnerabilities for strategic gains or rise to the occasion through careful climate-conscious policy.

Political Vulnerability

The second layer of HECS is political vulnerability and resilience. Climate is filtered through political structure—ideology, state institutions, and policy—which shapes how individuals and communities experience water and food insecurity. By “ideology,” I refer to the Gramscian conception of the term, encompassing the institutional practices, principles, and dogmas that consolidate the class alliances of the prevailing hegemonic discourse (Ramos 1982). To understand the political vulnerabilities of northeastern Syria, we must examine the confluence of Ba’athism and neoliberalism, best understood in their localized manifestations, and how they shaped elite interests. Ba’athism drew on tenets of Pan-Arabism, socialism, and nationalism that initially resonated broadly among the Syrian public but evolved with incongruity. In Syria, the ideology developed from its radical socialist form in the 1950s to a symbolic discourse under Hafez al-Assad that incorporated a Sunni bourgeois class while seeking to maintain the loyalty of peasant constituencies. By neoliberalism, I refer to its Syrian manifestation as a “social market economy” enacted in 2005, whose mechanisms consisted of privatization, the retreat of the welfare state, and the privileging of urban economic development over the rural social contracts of the radical Ba’athist era. The contradictions between these two ideologies and their historical blocs dialectically shaped the vulnerability of the Syrian northeast, constructing the social and economic effects of climate variability.

Since the rise of Ba’athism, Syrian elites instrumentalized environmental and economic threats to mitigate social instability and to coopt various social classes (Daoudy 2020, 112–117). In the 1960s and 1970s, Ba’athism prioritized food security to appeal to agrarian communities, as elites executed intensive dam construction and irrigation projects, especially in the northeastern rural Hassake province. Per official discourse, projects like the Tabqa Dam on the Euphrates in 1968 were a “cornerstone in the construction of a solid economic base” (Syrie et Monde Arabe 1978, 1), serving to eliminate flood risks, irrigate and enhance land, and produce electrical power. The discourse surrounding these projects conflated water security with political power and legitimacy, later amplified by propaganda under Hafez al-Assad that highlighted the leader’s peasant origins (Barnes 2009).

Yet dam projects displaced some 60,000 villagers, the majority of whom were never fully reintegrated into the agrarian economy (Métral 1987). State farms sought to provide new opportunities for displaced villagers but failed due to a hierarchical and inefficient bureaucracy that antagonized local stakeholders (Foy and Tabeaud 2012, 47–52). By the 1980s, a new set of class alliances formed the basis of the regime’s support, as urban merchants in western Syria expanded their clout and attempts to respond to peasant interests in the northeast disappeared. The government shifted its focus to market-oriented growth, privatizing peasant collectives. After Bashar al-Assad took power in 2000, the regime ramped up its commitment to neoliberal policies, unveiling a “social market economy,” with drastic consequences for the economic and social resilience of rural populations. By 2009, Syrian experts engaged in writing and vocally in heated debates on the detrimental impacts of the social market economy on the poor and the working classes. They called for the reintroduction of subsidies, imploring the government to address these policy issues via reports submitted to the Syrian Association of Economic Sciences (e.g., Nasr 2009, 12; Seifan 2009, 12; Qatna 2009, 10). As evinced by the government’s subsequent economic policies, their warnings fell on deaf ears. Thus, the vestiges of Ba’athism left rural populations in the northeast heavily dependent on government land schemes and food purchasing programs, which the state abandoned as it shifted priorities in the neoliberal era. What remained were aggressive irrigation schemes that the government’s inability to modernize would snowball into more unsustainable practices and further increase the region’s environmental vulnerability.

Darfur’s climate vulnerability must also be appraised through a political lens. Since the colonial mandate, extraction of resources from the country’s periphery through mining and aggressive agricultural practices formed the core of the country’s political economy. This served to extract maximum value back to the urban core and maintain the support of peripheral elites and militias through patronage (De Waal 2007). This became even more critical after 1999, when a split in the regime led to the ouster of Hassan Turabi, then the speaker of the National Assembly, whose power rivaled that of President Omar al-Bashir. In response, Turabi’s supporters in Darfur—where he was seen as a regional advocate—published the Black Book, an extensive documentation of regional inequalities in Sudan. The government, fearing that Darfur would be the “springboard” for rebellion, increased support for local militias and instructed them to aggress the local population (Flint and De Waal 2008, 68–70). With unrest in Darfur and strife with separatists in the south, the regime further privileged the country’s Riverain population—the Arabic-speaking communities in Khartoum and along the Nile (Tubiana 2011, 228). Rather than investing in local governance, Khartoum relied on militias to control areas outside the Nile core, exacerbating the erosion of traditional land tenure policies in Darfur and transferring land to Janjaweed—militias that terrorized the local populations (Abdul-Jalil and Unruh 2013, 157, 169). In Sudan, there are therefore major process-tracing issues in the climate–conflict nexus thesis that ignore how Khartoum antagonized the Darfuri population leading up to the civil war.

HECS also explains the structural forces at work in cases where climate variation occurred but no conflict followed. In addition to Morocco’s high vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, the country experiences factors cited as key components of the climate–conflict nexus applied to Syria and Sudan. Like Sudan, Morocco grapples with ethnic tension. The Amazigh, and other indigenous peoples, have been socially and economically marginalized in Morocco. Despite the relative success in quelling dissent in 2011, in 2016, Amazigh nationalism reignited protests in the Rif region. Why no conflict? In Morocco, we find structural resiliencies absent in Sudan and Syria due to the government’s concerted efforts to address climate change (El-Jihad 2016; Tangermann and Bennani 2016). While describing Morocco’s stability as a paradox, White (2011) points to the government’s adaptive capacities on migration issues and the securitization of “climate-induced migration” itself as a key tenet of Morocco foreign policy leverage with European countries. This translated to policy. In 2008, King Mohammed VI announced the Plan Maroc Vert, “to cope with the threat of climate change” (World Bank 2016). The plan prioritized the agricultural sector, declared “the main lever of the national economy” (Daoud et al. 2014, 93). The government incentivized drought-tolerant crops, direct seeding, and crop rotation (World Bank 2016), increasing Morocco’s capacity to respond to the 2015 drought.

The effects of climate change cannot be divorced from the calculated use of unsustainable practices that reflect a regime’s broader management of the country’s political economy as dictated by ideology. Key examples of the climate–conflict nexus involve politically manufactured environmental strain constructed by elite actors instrumentalizing the environment through an ideologically informed policy that increased food and water insecurity of vulnerable populations. The perspective of Syrian experts sounding the alarm on the impacts of environmental and economic policy also calls attention to how HECS’ rigorous engagement with local expert sources can map the agencies at play in managing the distribution of structural harm. We can best assess how these processes affect the human subject by examining the impact of this manufactured scarcity on the economic vulnerability of the community and the food and water security of individuals.

Economic and Social Vulnerability

Proceeding inward into HECS, we assess how political structures affected the economic, food, and water insecurity of vulnerable populations. In Syria, 2005 liberalization policies further aggravated the vulnerability of populations in the Hassake province in three main ways: uneven development that fostered an urban–rural divide, subsidy cuts, and the neglect of adequate infrastructure management.

First, the government’s lack of investment in diversified economic development in the Hassake region left the population overdependent on agricultural employment. This heavy reliance on the agricultural sector, fostered by a government policy of unsustainable expansion, came at a price, as the sector declined in the past decades. The sector shrank from 33 percent of the national GDP in 1963 to 17 percent in 2007 (Daoudy 2020, 129). While the last two decades have seen poverty in the northeast increase, Syria as a whole saw a decrease in poverty from 2004 to 2011, driven by rapid growth in western and coastal areas. Eastern cities incurred a decline in employment rates in the agricultural sector, especially in Hassake. These regional inequalities fed rural–urban migration, aggravating social vulnerability in rural areas. The norms and constituencies established under Ba’athism made the turn to the social market economy more painful for agrarian populations. In centering food security as a key element of its legitimation strategy, the Syrian regime pursued exploitative agricultural and infrastructure policies that undermined the government’s ability to manage environmental challenges on a technical level. These policies created a disproportionate impact of weather-related events on rural communities in the northeast.

This urban–rural divide was accentuated by abrupt subsidy cuts right before the harvest season of 2008 to fuel and fertilizer along with the termination of programs like the Price Stabilization Fund—the equivalent of a food stamp scheme. This weakened the purchasing power and income of agrarian communities in the middle of Drought II, compounded by an ongoing shift in government crop purchasing programs (Daoudy 2020, 99). The government’s incoherent and ineffective infrastructure policy also aggravated the effects of the drought by hampering modernizing and mismanaging ambitious megaprojects. In contrast to the collectivization, irrigation modernization in the 1990s placed enormous cost burdens on small landowners. This encouraged farmers to pursue illegal well digging, overtaxing groundwater supplies and increasing soil salinity, which exacerbated the environmental effects of Drought II. While it is indisputable that Drought II severely impacted the lives and livelihoods of rural populations in Syria, this case points to how proponents of the climate–conflict nexus must grapple with the complexities of political and economic structures beyond the notion of a “threat multiplier.”

A review of the economic and social vulnerabilities constructed by the political economy of Sudan further demonstrates that the climate–migration–conflict thesis is not inevitable. The need for agricultural rents to appease new local elites exacerbated decades of unsustainable land practices, including the use of commercial fertilizers and pesticides (Oxfam 2014). This in turn impacted food and water security for the local population, as a lack of diversified development left the population overreliant on agriculture, all while depleting the sustainability of local crop yields. Indeed, to further their immediate political goals of consolidating power, rather than supporting small subsistence-level farming, the government preferred large mechanized farms requiring complex irrigation schemes—with the support of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (Polgreen 2007). Polgreen goes so far as to state that “climate change and the lack of rain are much less important than the land-use patterns promoted by the government of Sudan … which were focused on intensive agricultural expansion that really mined the soils and left a lot of land unusable.” Social vulnerability in Darfur affected women in particular (Abouyoub 2012, 167). A similar assessment can be made for rural populations, 67 percent of Sudan’s population, due to their dependence on agriculture and high rates of poverty (World Bank 2019). These agriculture-reliant rural communities bore the full force of the Janjaweed campaign, spurring a rush of in-migration to urban areas in Darfur (Power 2004).

These food shortages revealed underlying and pre-existing food entitlements, or “the ability of different sections of the populations to establish command over food using the entitlement relations in that society” (Sen 1981, 459). From the institutional discrimination against non-Riverain Sudanese to the deliberate targeting of rural, poor populations, Sudanese elites perpetuated human insecurity in Darfur to guarantee resources, wealth, and power for themselves. In Sudan, the HECS framework shows how environmental drivers of a conflict are better assessed as a function of how the governments construct environmental instability.

Morocco stands as an example of how elite agency can create economic and social resilience in the face of political and climate vulnerability. There, agriculture accounts for over 20 percent of GDP, 25 percent of all exports, 40 percent of the country’s workforce, and 80 percent of the rural workforce (UNDP 2017, 1). During the drought, cereal harvest, Morocco’s primary sector of agricultural production, dropped by more than 70 percent, which led to a decline in economic growth by 3 percent (World Bank 2018a). According to the climate–conflict narrative deployed in Sudan and Syria, these circumstances should have spurred the internal migration of farmers from rural areas to more urban centers, increasing the likelihood of violent conflict. This ought to have been compounded by Morocco’s role as a transcontinental hub for migrant populations fleeing economic precarity and political violence in western Africa (White 2011). Yet no evidence exists of a correlative uptick in internal migration in the years leading up to, during, or after the drought (Tangermann and Bennani 2016, 9). Morocco’s proactive measures kept rural inhabitants in jobs, which, according to FAO (2018, 19), included “job creation activities in drought planning” and key infrastructure. While agricultural output dropped 70 percent during the 2015 season, these policies insulated the population from food and water insecurity. Following the 1994 drought, Morocco entered into free trade agreements with Europe and the United States, increasing exports and opening up small farmers to international markets with Plan Maroc Vert (Abi Nader 2015). The government coupled these investments with well-timed protectionism, quadrupling customs duties on soft wheat imports at the outset of the recent drought (Guerraoui 2018). Absent these interventions, we would anticipate a rise in food prices and outcomes similar to the case of Syria when it came to vulnerable populations deprived of secure access to food and water. Morocco is an example of how the impacts of climate variability can be mitigated by government intervention, including the enforcement of protectionist measures buttressed by strong institutions (Raleigh et al. 2015). Syria and Sudan failed to achieve similar outcomes due to regime-constructed political geographies that either abandoned or exploited vulnerable agricultural populations.

Conclusions

The climate–conflict nexus obfuscates causal processes that link environmental degradation and conflict. I began by discussing the perils of environmental determinism, ranging from reproducing neocolonial discourse about the Global South to ignoring insights from local experts and voices. While emerging discussions within human security and critical security offer tools to address these shortcomings, HECS details a systematized method to apply them. HECS shows how the effect of climate variation on a society is constructed through political structures and government economic policy, which in turn shapes the food and water insecurity of vulnerable populations.

The three cases presented in comparison echo De Soysa’s (2013) warning: choosing to examine a country already mired in conflict and working backward to establish a climate–conflict nexus can yield dubious results. When applying the logic of Sudan and Syria to Morocco, conflict ought to have been inevitable, not only for their shared climate vulnerabilities and dependence on agriculture but also for the presence of ethnic strife. My analysis demonstrates that the climate–migration–conflict thesis is not inevitable. Moreover, I illustrate that the concept of human security need not be a normative plea divorced from an empirical assessment of power structures. HECS centers the human subject as an empirical tool; human dignity is a concrete variable with measurable political and material effects. This allows an adequate tracing of the agencies and structures at work in how humans experience climate. The HECS layers are ordered to treat climate change as a factor whose effects materialize in how ideology and unsustainable resource policy construct the lived experiences of vulnerable populations. This differs from the notion of climate change as a “threat multiplier” in that it highlights the agency governments have over their policy and moves from an analysis of amorphous “threats” to clear causal pathways of insecurity. While providing structural analysis, this approach is agentive, in line with the consensus that the consequences of climate change can be attenuated by sound government policies. HECS grapples with this reality by offering a clearer method of inquiry, data robustness grounded in local sources, and clarity on the empirical utility of human security.

For policy makers and scholars of conflict, transitioning from a “threat multiplier” framework to a HECS framework provides a path to better link the effect of climate variation, unequal power relations between the Global North and South, and central governments and their marginalized populations. This bears particular implications for how climate is considered in conflict mediation and reconstruction efforts in countries like Sudan and Syria, where environmental policy should consider both cutting-edge approaches to sustainability and an understanding of local legacies of food and water insecurity. Future research may also deploy HECS in reverse, charting how vulnerable communities interact with their environments in acts of resistance that alter their political and ecological fates. Where environmentally deterministic narratives remove people’s agency by placing it in the hands of external developments, this approach gives them a voice.

Note

1. 

This framework was initially extensively developed using the case of Syria, and much of the Syria data in this article can be found there. This article presents a selection of these arguments while offering the cases of Sudan and Morocco to develop its generalizability and broader application.

References

Ababsa
,
Myriam
.
2015
.
The End of a World: Drought and Agrarian Transformation in Northeast Syria
. In
Syria from Reform to Revolt
,
vol. 1
, edited by
Raymond
Hinnebusch
and
Tina
Zintl
,
199
224
.
Syracuse, NY
:
Syracuse University Press
.
Abboud
,
Samer
,
Omar S.
Dahi
,
Waleed
Hazbun
,
Nicole Sunday
Grove
,
Coralie Pison
Hindawi
,
Jamil
Mouawad
, and
Sami
Hermez
.
2018
.
Towards a Beirut School of Critical Security Studies
.
Critical Studies on Security
6
(
3
):
273
295
.
Abdul-Jalil
,
Musa Adam
, and
Jon
Unruh
.
2013
.
Land Rights Under Stress in Darfur: A Volatile Dynamic of the Conflict
.
War and Society
32
(
2
):
156
181
.
Abi Nader
,
Jean
.
2015
.
Morocco’s Long-Term Power and Water Strategies Are Paying Off
.
AbiNader Advisory Services
.
Available at: https://abinaderadvisoryservices.com/tag/maroc-plan-vert/, last accessed March 22, 2021
.
Abouyoub
,
Younes
.
2012
.
The Forgotten Culprit. The Ecological Dimension of the Darfur Conflict
.
Race, Gender, and Class
19
(
1/2
):
150
176
.
Acharya
,
Amitav
.
2014
.
A Holistic Paradigm
.
Security Dialogue
35
(
3
):
355
356
.
Al-Hindi
,
Atieh
.
2010
.
The Agricultural Situation in the Eastern Region
.
Paper presented at the Syrian Economy and Future Horizons, the 23rd Economic Symposium of the Syrian Association of Economic Sciences
,
Damascus
.
Barnes
,
Jessica
.
2009
.
Managing the Waters of Ba’ath Country: The Politics of Water Scarcity in Syria
.
Geopolitics
14
(
3
):
510
530
.
Benassi
,
M.
2008
.
Drought and climate change in Morocco. Analysis of precipitation field and water supply
. In
Drought Management: Scientific and Technological Innovations
, edited by
A.
López-Francos
,
83
86
.
Zaragoza
:
CIHEAM
.
Bilgin
,
Pinar
.
2017
.
Inquiring into Others’ Conceptions of the International and Security
.
Political Science and Politics
50
(
3
):
652
655
.
Burchi
,
Francesco
, and
Pasquale
De Muro
.
2015
.
From Food Availability to Nutritional Capabilities: Advancing Food Security Analysis
.
Food Policy
60
:
10
19
.
Buzan
,
Barry
.
2004
.
A Reductionist, Idealistic Notion That Adds Little Analytical Value
.
Security Dialogue
35
(
3
):
369
370
.
CNA Corporation
.
2007
.
National Security and the Threat of Climate Change
.
Alexandria, VA
:
CNA Corporation
. .
Coates
,
Jennifer
.
2013
.
Build It Back Better: Deconstructing Food Security for Improved Measurement and Action
.
Global Food Security
2
(
3
):
188
194
.
Dalby
,
Simon
.
2013
.
Environmental Dimensions of Human Security
. In
Environmental Security: Approaches and Issues
, edited by
Rita
Floyd
and
Richard
Matthews
,
121
138
.
Abingdon, UK
:
Routledge
.
Dalby
,
Simon
.
2017
.
Climate Change and Geopolitics
. In
Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science
.
Oxford, UK
:
Oxford University Press
.
Daoud
,
Salma
,
Abdelkader
Lyagoubi
, and
M. Cherif
Harrouni
.
2014
.
Moroccan Agriculture Facing Climate Change: Adaptation and Local Distribution of the Value Added
. In
Science, Policy and Politics of Modern Agricultural System: Global Context to Local Dynamics of Sustainable Agriculture
, edited by
Mohamed
Behnassi
,
Shabbir
Shahid
, and
Nazia
Mintz-Habib
.
Amsterdam, Netherlands
:
Springer
.
Daoudy
,
Marwa
.
2020
.
The Origins of the Syrian Conflict: Climate Change and Human Security
.
Cambridge, UK
:
Cambridge University Press
.
De Châtel
,
Francesca
.
2014
.
The Role of Drought and Climate Change in the Syrian Uprising: Untangling the Triggers of the Revolution
.
Middle Eastern Studies
50
(
4
):
521
535
.
De Juan
,
Alexander
.
2015
.
Long-Term Environmental Change and Geographical Patterns of Violence in Darfur, 2003–2005
.
Political Geography
45
:
22
33
.
De Soysa
,
Indra
.
2013
.
Environmental Security and the Resource Curse
. In
Environmental Security: Approaches and Issues
, edited by
Rita
Floyd
and
Richard
Matthews
,
64
81
.
Abingdon, UK
:
Routledge
.
De Waal
,
Alex
.
2007
.
Sudan: What Kind of State? What Kind of Crisis?
Occasional Paper 2
,
Crisis States Research Center
.
Dinshaw
,
Fram
.
2015
.
This Is What a Climate Refugee Looks Like
.
National Observer
,
September 4. Available at: https://www.nationalobserver.com/2015/09/04/news/what-climate-refugee-looks, last accessed March 22, 2021
.
El-Jihad
,
Moulay-Driss
.
2016
.
Climate Change and Rural Development in the Middle Atlas Mountains and Fringe Areas (Morocco)
.
Journal of Alpine Research
104
(
4
):
1
18
.
FAO
.
2018
.
Drought Characteristics and Management in North Africa and the Near East
.
Available at: https://www.fao.org/3/CA0034EN/ca0034en.pdf, last accessed March 22, 2021
.
Fearon
,
James
.
2005
.
Primary Commodities and Civil War
.
Journal of Conflict Resolution
49
(
4
):
483
507
.
Femia
,
Francesco
, and
Caitlin
Werrell
.
2012
.
Syria: Climate Change, Drought and Social Unrest
.
Center for Climate and Security
. .
Femia
,
Francesco
, and
Caitlin
Werrell
.
2015
.
New Research in Context: Syria, Climate Change and Conflict
.
Center for Climate and Security
. .
Ferguson
,
Peter
.
2014
.
Discourses of Resilience in the Climate Security Debate
.
Global Environmental Politics
19
(
2
):
104
126
.
Flint
,
Julie
, and
Alex
De Waal
.
2008
.
Darfur: A New History of a Long War
. Rev. and Updated ed.
London, UK
:
Zed Books
.
Foy
,
Roman-Olivier
, and
Martine
Tabeaud
.
2012
.
The State Farm of Al-Assad (Euphrates) Before Its Closure in 2000: Some Negative Effects of a Top-Down Development Approach
.
Journal of Mediterranean Geography
119
:
45
55
.
Fröhlich
,
Christiane
.
2016
.
Climate Migrants as Protestors? Dispelling Misconceptions About Global Environmental Change in Pre-Revolutionary Syria
.
Contemporary Levant
1
(
1
):
38
50
.
Gleick
,
Peter
.
2014
.
Water, Drought, Climate Change, and Conflict in Syria
.
Weather, Climate, and Society
6
(
3
):
331
340
.
Gleick
,
Peter
.
2017
.
Climate, Water and Conflict: Commentary on Selby et al., 2017
.
Political Geography
60
:
248
250
.
Guerraoui
,
Saad
.
2018
.
Morocco Braces for Drought Fallout
.
Arab Weekly
,
January 7. Available at: https://thearabweekly.com/morocco-braces-drought-fallout, last accessed March 22, 2021
.
Hardt
,
Judith Nora
.
2012
.
Critical Deconstruction of Environmental Security and Human Security Concepts in the Anthropocene
. In
Climate Change, Human Security and Violent Conflict
, edited by
Jürgen
Scheffran
,
Michael
Brzoska
,
Hans Günter
Brauch
,
Peter
Link
, and
Janpeter
Schilling
,
207
221
.
Berlin, Germany
:
Springer
.
Hendrix
,
Cullen S.
2017
.
A Comment on Climate Change and the Syrian Civil War Revisited
.
Political Geography
60
:
251
252
.
Hoerling
,
Martin
,
Jon
Eischeid
,
Judith
Perlwitz
,
Xiaowei
Quan
,
Tao
Zhang
, and
Philip
Pegion
.
2012
.
On the Increased Frequency of Mediterranean Drought
.
Journal of Climate
25
(
6
):
2146
2161
.
Homer-Dixon
,
Thomas
.
1994
.
Environmental Scarcities and Violent Conflict: Evidence From Cases
.
International Security
19
:
5
40
.
Kelley
,
Colin
,
Shahrzhad
Mohtadi
,
Mark
Cane
,
Richard
Seager
, and
Yochunan
Kushnir
.
2015
.
Climate Change in the Fertile Crescent and Implications of the Recent Syrian Drought
.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
112
(
11
):
3241
3246
.
Kelley
,
Colin
,
Shahrzhad
Mohtadi
,
Mark
Cane
,
Richard
Seager
, and
Yochunan
Kushnir
.
2017
.
Commentary on the Syria Case: Climate as a Contributing Factor
.
Political Geography
60
:
245
247
.
Koubi
,
Vally
,
Gabriele
Spilker
,
Tobias
Böhmelt
, and
Thomas
Bernauer
.
2014
.
Do Natural Resources Matter for Interstate and Intrastate Armed Conflict?
Journal of Peace Research
51
(
2
):
227
243
.
Mamdani
,
Mahmood
.
2009
.
Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror
.
New York, NY
:
Pantheon Books
.
Mehlum
,
Halvor
,
Karl
Moene
, and
Ragnar
Torvik
.
2006
.
Institutions and the Resource Curse
.
Economic Journal
116
(
1
):
1
20
.
Métral
,
Françoise
.
1987
.
Périmètre irrigué d’État sur l’Euphrate syrien: Modes de gestion et politique agricole [Irrigated state-owned land on the Syrian Euphrates: Management techniques and agricultural politics]
.
Travaux de la Maison d’Orient
14
(
1
):
111
145
.
Nasr
,
R.
2009
.
Pro-poor Economic Growth
.
Paper presented at Around the Ramifications of the Current Global Economic Crisis, the 22nd Economic Symposium of the Syrian Association of Economic Sciences
,
Damascus
.
Newman
,
Edward
.
2004
.
A Normatively Attractive but Analytically Weak Concept
.
Security Dialogue
35
(
3
):
358
359
.
Newman
,
Edward
.
2010
.
Critical Human Security Studies
.
Review of International Studies
36
(
1
):
77
94
.
Oels
,
Angela
.
2012
.
From “Securitization” of Climate Change to “Climatization” of the Security Field
. In
Climate Change, Human Security, and Violent Conflict
, edited by
Jürgen
Scheffren
,
Michael
Brzoska
,
Hans Günter
Brauch
,
P. M.
Link
, and
Johannes
Schilling
,
185
205
.
Berlin, Germany
:
Springer
.
Ogata
,
Sadako
, and
Amartya
Sen
.
2003
.
Human Security Now
.
Final report presented at the Commission on Human Security to UNSG Kofi Annan
,
New York
. .
Oxfam
.
2014
.
We No Longer Share the Land: Agricultural Change, Land, and Violence in Darfur
. .
Polgreen
,
Lydia
.
2007
.
A Godsend for Darfur, or a Curse?
New York Times
,
July 22. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/weekinreview/22polgreen.html, last accessed October 26, 2020
.
Power
,
Samantha
.
2004
.
Dying in Darfur
.
New Yorker
,
August 23. Available at: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2004/08/30/dying-in-darfur, last accessed October 26, 2020
.
Qatna
,
M. H.
2009
.
The Agricultural Sector: Policies and Procedures
.
Paper presented at Around the Ramifications of the Current Global Economic Crisis, the 22nd Economic Symposium of the Syrian Association of Economic Sciences
,
Damascus
.
Raleigh
,
Clionadh
,
Hyun Jin
Choi
, and
Dominic
Kniveto
.
2015
.
The Devil Is in the Details: An Investigation of the Relationships Between Conflict, Food Price and Climate Across Africa
.
Global Environmental Change
32
:
187
199
.
Ramos
,
Valeriano
, Jr.
1982
.
The Concepts of Ideology, Hegemony, and Organic Intellectuals in Gramsci’s Marxism
.
Theoretical Review
27
:
3
8
.
Ransan-Cooper
,
Hedda
,
Carol
Farbotko
,
Karen
McNamara
,
Fanny
Thornton
, and
Emile
Chevalier
.
2015
.
Being(s) Framed: The Means and Ends of Framing Environmental Migrants
.
Global Environmental Change
35
:
106
115
.
Schilling
,
Janpeter
,
Jürgen
Scheffran
,
Korbinian
Freier
, and
Elke
Hertig
.
2012
.
Climate Change, Vulnerability, and Adaptation in North Africa, with Focus on Morocco
.
Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment
156
:
12
26
.
Seifan
,
Samir
.
2009
.
Social Consequences of Economic Policies
.
Paper presented at Syrian Association of Economic Sciences
,
Damascus
.
Selby
,
Jan
.
2018
.
Climate Change and the Syrian Civil War, Part II: The Jazira’s Agrarian Crisis
.
Geoforum
101
:
1
15
.
Selby
,
Jan
,
Omar
Dahi
,
Christiane
Fröhlich
, and
Mike
Hulme
.
2017
.
Climate Change and the Syrian Civil War Revisited
.
Political Geography
60
:
232
244
.
Selby
,
Jan
, and
Clemens
Hoffmann
.
2014
.
Beyond Scarcity: Rethinking Water, Climate Change and Conflict in the Sudans
.
Global Environmental Change
29
:
360
370
.
Sen
,
Amartya
.
1981
.
Poverty Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation
.
Oxford, UK
:
Clarendon Press
.
Sen
,
Amartya
.
2000
.
Why Human Security?
Lecture at the International Symposium on Human Security
,
Tokyo
.
Smith
,
Philip
, and
Nicholas
Howe
.
2015
.
Climate Change as Social Drama: Global Warming in the Public Sphere
.
Cambridge, UK
:
Cambridge University Press
.
Sova
,
Chase
.
2017
.
The First Climate Change Conflict
.
World Food Program USA
.
Available at: https://www.wfpusa.org/stories/the-first-climate-change-conflict/#, last accessed March 22, 2021
.
Sovacool
,
Benjamin
, and
Björn-Ola
Linnér
.
2016
.
The Political Economy of Climate Change Adaptation
.
London, UK
:
Palgrave Macmillan
.
Syrie et Monde Arabe
.
1978
.
Étude mensuelle economique, politique et statistique: Le Barrage de l’Euphrate par l’ingénieur Sobhi Kahhaleh, ministre du barrage de l’Euphrate [The Euphrates Dam by the engineer Sobhi Kahhaleh, Minister of the Euphrates Dam]
.
Syrie et Monde Arabe
25
(
290
):
1
.
Tangermann
,
Julian
, and
Hind Aissaoui
Bennani
.
2016
.
IOM Report—Assessing the Evidence: Migration, Environment and Climate Change in Morocco
. .
Trombetta
,
Maria Julia
.
2011
.
Rethinking the Securitization of the Environment: Old Beliefs, New Insights
. In
Securitization Theory: How Security Problems Emerge and Dissolve
, edited by
Thierry
Balzacq
,
135
149
.
Abingdon, UK
:
Routledge
.
Tubiana
,
Jérôme
.
2011
.
The War in the West
. In
The Sudan Handbook
, edited by
John
Ryle
,
Justin
Willis
,
Suliman
Baldo
, and
Jok Madut
Jok
,
223
241
.
London
:
Rift Valley Institute
.
Ul-Haq
,
Mahbub
.
1995
.
Reflections on Human Development
.
Oxford, UK
:
Oxford University Press
.
UNDP
.
2010
.
Mapping Climate Change Vulnerability and Impact Scenarios: A Guidebook for Subnational Planners
.
New-York
:
UNDP
.
UNDP
.
2017
.
National Action Plans in Focus: A Lesson from Morocco
. .
UNEP
.
2007
.
Sudan Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment
.
Available at: https://postconflict.unep.ch/publications/UNEP_Sudan.pdf, last accessed March 22, 2021
.
Werrell
,
Caitlin
, and
Francesco
Femia
.
2015
.
Climate Change as Threat Multiplier: Understanding the Broader Nature of the Risk
.
Center for Climate and Security Briefer
25
:
1
5
.
White
,
Gregory
.
2011
.
Climate Change and Migration: Security and Borders in a Warming World
.
Oxford, UK
:
Oxford University Press
.
Wisner
,
Benjamin
,
Piers
Blaikie
,
Terry
Cannon
, and
Ian
Davis
.
2004
.
At Risk: Natural Hazards, People’s Vulnerability and Disasters
. 2nd ed.
Abingdon, UK
:
Routledge
.
World Bank
.
2016
.
5 Things Morocco Is Doing About Climate Change
. .
World Bank
.
2018a
.
Climate Variability, Drought, and Drought Management in Morocco’s Agricultural Sector
.
Washington, DC
:
World Bank
. .
World Bank
.
2018b
.
Kingdom of Morocco: Governing Towards Efficiency, Equity, Education and Endurance: A Systematic Country Diagnostic
.
Washington, DC
:
World Bank
. .
World Bank
.
2019
.
Rural Population (% of Total Population)—Sudan
.
Available at: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.RUR.TOTL.ZS?locations=SD, last accessed March 22, 2021
.

Author notes

*

I sincerely thank my graduate student and research assistant Jérémie Langlois for his outstanding inputs and contributions throughout all stages of revisions.