Positivist climate conflict research: a critique

Selby, Jan (2014) Positivist climate conflict research: a critique. Geopolitics, 19 (4). pp. 829-856. ISSN 1465-0045

Full text not available from this repository.


In recent years a large body of work has emerged that uses a positivist epistemology and quantitative methods to assess the likely conflict impacts of global climate change. This article advances a critique of this positivist climate conflict research programme, identifying within it three serial shortcomings. It contends, first, that the correlations identified by this research are specious, since they always rest upon coding and causal assumptions which range from the arbitrary to the untenable. It argues, second, that even if the correlations identified within this research were significant and meaningful, they would still not constitute a sound basis for making predictions about the conflict impacts of climate change. And it submits, third, that this research programme reflects and reproduces an ensemble of Northern stereotypes, ideologies and policy agendas. A departure from positivist method is required, the article contends, if we are to get close to thinking through the wide-ranging political and conflict implications of the human transformation of the global climate.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Depositing User: Jayne Paulin
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2015 12:19
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2015 12:19
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/52274
📧 Request an update