Contributors: Köpke, Sören (TU Braunschweig)
Sören Köpke (*1975) is currently a lecturer at TU Braunschweig, Institute for Social Sciences. His main research interest is political ecology and he pursues a Ph.D. on the connection between climate change, resource scarcity and social conflict.
Scientific paper contribution: Let them Eat War: Climate Change, Food Insecurity and Conflict
Abstract: Climate change is increasingly framed as a security concern. Proponents of the environmental security discourse warn that dwindling water resources, loss of arable land and grazing grounds will cause hunger and conflict. These resource-related conflicts will arise in the most vulnerable parts of the Global South. However, this discourse is blind to the political economy of a growth-based capitalist world economy. Narratives of scarcity reinforce the conflictuality of climate change and manifest the securization of the field. Climatic extremes have a potential to compromise food security, but volatile markets, government neglect, and violence also contribute to the problem. Using a political ecology approach, the paper is an attempt to deconstruct the neo-Malthusian argument that food insecurity as a consequence of climatic change and population growth is a root cause of conflict. The author argues that food insecurity will increasingly become a question of climate justice which will have to be tackled through re-allocation of resources, not through deployment of troops.