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Climate Change and Terrorism

Climate Change and Terrorism

Climate change is a defining global issue of our time. In a recent address to the UN Security Council, John Kerry, the U.S. presidential envoy for climate, remarked that climate change is “the challenge of all of our generations.” An important dimension of the challenge presented by climate change concerns its implications for state and human security.

Over the past several decades, scholars and policy makers have dedicated a considerable amount of time and other resources to understanding the connections between security and climate change. The interplay between climate change and terrorism is a dimension of the climate-security nexus that continues to attract significant interest in this regard.

Climate change and terrorism nexus

In my recent review piece Climate Change-Terrorism Nexus? A Preliminary Review/Analysis of the Literature, I explore the nexus between climate change and terrorism. These questions guided my review:

What does the literature say about the link and/or lack thereof between climate change and terrorism?
What is the publication trend for literature that explore the relationship between climate change and terrorism?
What insight(s) for future policy and/or research?
In reviewing numerous and diverse types of material published between January 2000 and February 2020, I found a noticeable increase over time in the number of publications focusing on these topics. My review also establishes that the climate change-terrorism nexus plays out in two ways, one a simple, indirect relationship and the other a complex, cyclical relationship.

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