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4th CRIAS workshop: Climate and Conflict Revisited: Perspectives from the past and the present

Olso, Norway
Workshop report
Contact person
Sam White
E-Mail address
Working groups
Meeting Category

* The dates for this workshop have now been set for 11-12 May, as communicated by the organizers on 23 January 2023*


Workshop: Climate and Conflict Revisited: Perspectives from the past and the present
Date: 11-12 May 2023
Location: University of Oslo, Norway, and online (online sessions are planned for overseas participants)

The full program and registration link is now available here


The workshop will be hosted jointly by the CLIMCULT project at the University of Oslo, the Peace Research Institute Oslo and PAGES CRIAS (Climate Reconstruction and Impacts from the Archives of Societies) working group.

The link between climate change and conflict has become a major topic of scholarly and public debate. Fears of climate-driven conflict frame contemporary security concerns and fuel dystopian media depictions. Current debates have been informed – often implicitly – by historical precedents. Historians of the past decade have rediscovered the field of climate and conflict, especially in studies of the early modern “Little Ice Age” (White 2011, Parker 2013).

Since then, both qualitative and quantitative approaches have experienced a renaissance. In the field of conflict studies, popular syntheses have made the case for a causal chain linking deteriorating climate, diminishing resources, and an increased risk for armed conflict (Welzer 2012, Dyer 2010). Correlations between the 2010 drought and food crisis and the following Arab Spring have served as a popular case study.

Nevertheless, research in the field has been limited by disciplinary constraints. Historians lack shared methods to analyze and assess causation in socionatural systems; modern conflict studies often use historical evidence and analogies uncritically. An informed integration of both fields remains unrealized and both modern and historical linkages have yet to achieve consensus (Warde 2015, Selby et al 2017). Popular narratives of inevitable collapse and determinist tropes of decline are left to fill the gap in interdisciplinary research. In response, scholars have suggested improved modeling and data capture (von Uexkull, Buhaug 2021), additional close-up studies at higher resolutions (Collet 2019), and a tighter transdisciplinary integration of evidence between the fields.

Workshop details

This workshop will revisit the climate-conflict nexus, bringing together climate history and conflict studies fields. The workshop will encourage researchers at all career stages to reflect on research designs that can integrate diverse methods and sources, both quantitative and qualitative.

We invite contributions that attempt to pool evidence, investigate cross-disciplinary  potential, and reflect on future shared methodologies. Our goal is to improve integrative approaches, establish an improved historical ‘baseline’ for current claims and projections, and challenge determinist imaginaries and broaden the current debate about climate and conflict – both modern and historical.

Contributions that attempt to pool evidence, investigate the cross-disciplinary potential, and reflect on future shared methodologies:

  •     Case studies of the climate-conflict nexus, both historical and modern;

  •     Methodological reflections on the use of evidence/data/natural and societal archives;

  •     Conceptual approaches to climate-conflict interactions

  •     The integration of quantitative and qualitative / past and present evidence;

  •     Historiographical approaches to climate and conflict; and 

  •     Instances of learning from past events.

> Download Call for Papers

Confirmed speakers/participants

Confirmed speakers include Florian Krampe (SIPRI Stockholm, keynote address).

Important dates

Call for abstracts: 1 March 2023
Acceptance decision: 31 March 2023

Abstracts/ Papers

Please send your one-page summary of your presentation and a short CV by 1 March 2023 to: (dominik[dot]collet[at]iakh[dot]uio[dot]no)


PAGES does not tolerate any sort of discrimination or harassment at workshops, and is committed to an open and welcoming environment for all. 

If you feel uncomfortable during the workshop for any reason, you can contact the following people:

Katrin Kleemann: (k[dot]kleemann[at]dsm[dot]museum)
Sam White: (samwhite2426[at]gmail[dot]com)

More information

Participation is free of charge. Travel grants are available for early career researchers. If you have any questions please contact the organizers: Prof Dominik Collet (University of Oslo): (dominik[dot]collet[at]iakh[dot]uio[dot]no),  or Prof Sam White (University of Helsinki): (samwhite2426[at]gmail[dot]com)

> Download Call for Papers

> Visit the CRIAS webpage