Policy Briefs Books Journals

Policy Briefs on Climate Change and Conflict

Climate Change and Conflict

Ontological Security, the Spatial Turn and Pacific Relationality: A Framework for Understanding Climate Change, Human Mobility and Conflict/Peace in the Pacific (Part II)

Policy Brief  No.124 - February, 2022

Part II of this two-part study explores the ways in which a combination of ontological security and the spatial turn with a genuinely Pacific approach can contribute to theoretically explaining and practically addressing the challenges of climate change-induced mobility to peace and security in the Pacific region. The focus will be on the fundamental land/people connection and on its implications for ontological (in)security in the face of relocation and displacement. Finally, some conclusions will be drawn and recommendations for further research, policy and practice will be given.

Climate Change and Conflict

Ontological Security, the Spatial Turn and Pacific Relationality: A Framework for Understanding Climate Change, Human Mobility and Conflict/Peace in the Pacific (Part I)

Policy Brief  No.123 - February, 2022

In Part I of this two-part study, the concept of ontological security is presented and linked to the spatial turn in peace and conflict studies. The spatial turn and the concept of ontological security allow the framing of issues of peace, conflict and security as fundamentally em-placed, as inextricably connected to place/space/scale, offering a promising entry point to the understanding of the challenges to peace and security which come with climate change-induced human mobility. However, both ontological security and the spatial turn are fundamentally Western academic concepts; therefore, it is argued that it is necessary to combine these concepts with the genuinely Pacific approach of relationality if they are to be made useful for the understanding of the climate change – mobility – peace/conflict nexus in a Pacific socio-cultural context.

Climate Change and Conflict

Finding a Regional Process to Address the Primary Security Threats to the South Pacific due to Climate Change

Policy Brief  No.121 - January, 2022

This brief explores the nexus between climate change and security in the South Pacific and explores some key climate change-related trigger points that are driving security concerns in the Pacific. The combined effects of these trigger points are likely to drive displacement and forced migration away from Pacific Island countries. Regional security is further heightened by tensions between the US and China and their interests in protecting or exploiting fisheries resources in the region. Current regional organisations do not appear well placed to create an effective dialogue to resolve these climate change-related tensions, due to inherent biases. This Policy Brief explores the option of new collaborative arrangements between the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Pacific Small Island Development States (PSIDS) as a means of creating a higher political authority to consider the threats posed by climate change and the opportunities to address these threats.

Climate Change and Conflict

Vanishing Homelands: Climate Security, Displacement and Human Rights: A Pacific Focus

Policy Brief  No.119 - November, 2021

Climate change is having profound impacts on the displacement of communities and the stability of peace and security. As climate displacement continues to rise at an unprecedented rate, it is compounded by many variables which can be described collectively as ‘nexus dynamics’. This Policy Brief examines the protection of climate-displaced people, highlighting the limitations and effectiveness of existing refugee frameworks. It recognises a shift in the factors driving human displacement, such as climate change, which are not limited to ‘the fear of persecution’, as has traditionally defined ‘refugees’. This Brief advocates for the implementation of a human rights-based framework to protect and preserve the life and dignity of those embarking on a relocation process, whether forced or voluntary. It discusses how displacement is impacting the Pacific Region which is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and is experiencing vanishing homelands due to rising sea levels. The conclusion offers a range of policy recommendations designed to assist Pacific states in the protection and support of climate-displaced persons and in the maintenance of peace and security.

Climate Change and Conflict Contemporary Peace Research and Practice

Warming to a New Definition and Call for Global Action: Humanity’s Security

Policy Brief  No.117 - October, 2021

The world is in the throes of two classically defined global problems that confront humanity: climate change and a ruinous pandemic. Everyone is affected; only global solutions can solve them and a truly commonly agreed blueprint is needed not only to face ongoing threats, but to avoid the worst to come in the near future. Decisive joint action in the interests of all humanity is required. In the light of the stark losses incurred by the world economy as a consequence of both these problems, I argue that a new conceptualization of security must be embraced now: humanity’s security. This is a call for action that requires states to pool their resources, capacities and strengths for the common good of humanity to attain global public goods on a planetary scale.