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Weather Extremes, Disasters, and Collective Violence: Conditions, Mechanisms, and Disaster-Related Policies in Recent Research

Brzoska, Michael
Current climate change reports 2018 v.4 no.4 pp. 320-329
climate change, disasters, issues and policy, politics, violence, weather
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Summary of research on the consequences of extreme weather events, which manifest themselves as disasters, for collective violence as well as on policy measures to mitigate such negative effects. RECENT FINDINGS: A growing, but contested, majority of studies indicate a slight increase in the likelihood of the occurrence, escalation, and prolongation of collective violence in the wake of disasters. The identification of conditions and mechanisms, some of which increase the likelihood of violence and some of which have the opposite effect, helps us to understand the diversity of outcomes. This includes the consequences of political and humanitarian interventions prior to, during and after disasters, which can overlay local processes. Conditions and mechanisms shaping the link between disasters and collective violence provide opportunities for policy interventions that are already, or can be, taken to mitigate the consequences of extreme events, increasing or reducing the likelihood and level of collective violence.