Urbanization and Environment

​​Over half the world’s population now lives in cities, with this number to reach 70 percent by 2050. Moreover, climate change poses one of the greatest challenges of this century. Focusing on the city as a site, and urbanization, demographic and environmental change as processes, the Urbanization and Environment research group examines how spatial, demographic and physical factors condition human affairs, and their implications for peace and conflict dynamics. 

06/04/2021
What predicts asylum migration flows?

In a new study published in Nature Communications, PRIO researchers use a machine-learning analysis framework to identify leading predictors of contemporary asylum migration to the European Union. The study finds little evidence that climatic shocks or deteriorating economic conditions predict near-future arrivals of asylum seekers in Europe, contrasting commonly held notions of economy- and climate-driven asylum migrants. Instead, indicators capturing levels of political violence and violations of physical integrity rights in countries of origin are important predictors of asylum migration flows, suggesting that migrants are continuing to use the asylum system as intended – i.e., to seek international protection from a well-founded fear of persecution – despite the fact that most applicants ultimately are rejected refugee status. The article is a product of the ERC-funded CLIMSEC project and is published as open access.

Schutte, Sebastian; Jonas Vestby, Jørgen Carling & Halvard Buhaug (2021) Climatic conditions are weak predictors of asylum migration, Nature Communications 12: 2067.

28/01/2021
New special issue on climate change and conflict

The Journal of Peace Research has just published a new special issue on ‘Security implications of climate change’ (January 2021), guest edited by Nina von Uexkull and Halvard Buhaug. The special issue contains 12 original research articles and viewpoint essays, supplemented by an introductory article by the guest editors that presents a review the state of the art. This is the second time JPR dedicates a special issue to climate change and conflict; the first time was in 2012, edited by Nils Petter Gleditsch. The new issue represents the most up-to-date collection of studies on the subject. Several articles, including the introduction, are available as open access.

Read the special issue here.

16/12/2020
Young Researcher Talent Funding for Kristian Hoelscher

Kristian Hoelscher has been granted YRT funding from the Research Council of Norway for the three-year project Political Transformation in African Cities (PACE). As project leader, Kristian will collaborate with Sean Fox from the University of Bristol, Jeffrey Paller from the University of San Francisco, Taibat Lawanson from the University of Lagos and Melanie Phillips from UC Berkeley.


Congratulations!

18/12/2019
Green Curses Project Receives RCN Funding

​Congratulations to the team that has secured NORGLOBAL funding from the Research Council of Norway for the 3-year project Green Curses and Violent Conflicts: The Security Implications of Renewable Energy Sector Development in Africa. The project team consists of project leader Siri Aas Rustad (PRIO), Kendra Dupuy, John Andrew McNeish (NMBU), Stacy VanDeveer (University of Massachusetts Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies), Carl Bruch (Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and Francis Mwesigye.

In his Nobel Peace address in 2018 Dr. Mukwege said: “When you drive your electric car; when you use your smart phone or admire your jewellery, take a minute to reflect on the human cost of manufacturing these objects.” 

The new research project “Green Curses and Violent Conflict” will examine the conditions under which increased investment in renewable energy could generate a new set of resource- and energy-related violent conflicts in Africa – a so-called “green curse” – and how to prevent and resolve these conflicts.

18/12/2019
Now Funded: TRUST: A Project on the Impact of Refugees on Host Communities

Despite the magnitude of displacement, extant knowledge on how refugees affect host populations is derived almost exclusively from Western societies. We lack completely evidence-based, generalizable insights of such dynamics in the Global South.

A project addressing this challenge has today received funding from the FRIPRO Programme of the Research Council of Norway: TRUST:  Attitudinal Impacts of Refugees on Host Communities in the Global South.

The project will last for 3.5 years, and will be led by Halvard Buhaug. Other PRIO members of the project team are Andreas Forø Tollefsen and Siri Aas Rustad, as well as a new PhD position. Congratulations!

08/11/2019
Successful Doctoral Defense by Elisabeth Lio Rosvold

​​We congratulate Elisabeth Lio Rosvold on the successful defense of her PhD thesis today, 08 November 2019! Dr Rosvold’s thesis entitled ‘Coping with Calamity: Natural Disasters, Armed Conflict and Development Aid’ was defended at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Department of Sociology and Political Science.

20/06/2018
Praise for PRIO in Recent RCN Evaluations

The Research Council of Norway (RCN) has just launched the final report of an evaluation of social sciences in Norway (SAMEVAL), emphasizing that PRIO is one of only five institutions in Norway recognized for hosting a world leading social science research environment. Together with the evaluation of the humanities (HUMEVAL), and the evaluation of the social science institutes (INSTEVAL), both completed last year, this completes PRIO’s part in a thorough and thought-provoking process. The two subject-specific evaluations looked at the impact of research at the national, institutional and research group level, providing useful feedback and recommendations to PRIO’s different disciplines and (multi-disciplinary) research groups.

The three evaluations consistently demonstrate the recognition of PRIO as a leading academic environment, in Norway as well as internationally.

09/03/2018
Successful Doctoral Defense by Jonas Vestby

Jonas Vestby has defended his thesis today, 9 March 2018: 'Climate, development, and conflict: Learning from the past and mapping uncertainties of the future' at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Oslo.

His trial lecture: 

Explaining Ethnic Conflict: Micro-, Meso- and Macro-Approaches

06/12/2017
New Blog on Climate and Conflict

The Climate & Conflict blog will publish updates from relevant PRIO-based research projects on security dimensions of climate and environmental change.

PRIO presently hosts three research projects that jointly have an overarching goal of addressing the relationship between climate and conflict: CAVE, CLIMSEC, and CROP. Some of the questions these projects ask are: 
  • What is the relationship between climate variability, food insecurity, and political violence? 
  • How does agricultural productivity relate to conflict risk? 
  • Under what circumstances does extreme weather events affect political stability?

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