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Climate Change - Terrorism Nexus? A Preliminary Review/ Analysis of the Literature

Journal abstract

Climate change and terrorism are two key global security concerns of our time. Despite that fact, the two continue to predominantly be analyzed separately by most security studies scholars. However, interest on the interplay between these two concerns has grown considerably particularly over the past two decades. The growth in interest is attributable to the close to two decades of scholarship on the climate-security nexus. That scholarship establishes climate change as a threat multiplier, which worsens existing problems and aggravates vulnerabilities. This text presents findings of a preliminary literature review/analysis of 112 documents published between 2000 and 2020. The literature review/analysis was guided by the following three broad questions. 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? The text identifies two patterns of interaction with regards to the interplay between climate change and terrorism. On one hand, a simple one-way indirect relationship wherein climate change aggravates existing social vulnerability, which is a known enabler/driver of terrorism. On the other hand, a complex relationship wherein climate change contributes to terrorism and vice versa through a self-reinforcing process characterized by feedback loops.

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