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Update: UT Austin Conference on Shifting Conflict Patterns in Africa

Water_distribution_in_Horn_of_AfricaThis coming April 15 & 16 at the University of Texas, Austin there will be a very interesting conference looking at shifting conflict patterns in Africa, and drivers of instability and cooperation.  The conference is co-hosted by the African Center for Strategic Studies, Climate Change and African Political Stability Program (CCAPS), the U.S. Africa Command, and the U.S. Army War College Fellowship.  The conference includes a very impressive lineup of speakers and an extensive look at factors both within and beyond the region that contribute to conflict and cooperation.  From the CCAPS website: (more…)

Can Authoritarian Regimes be Climate Resilient? Not Likely

Bashar_and_Asmaa_al-Assad_in_MoscowWilliam Goodyear of the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at National Defense University recently asked an excellent question in response to something we said in an interview on climate change and Syria. The question is: “Is Climate-proofing a Tool for Dictators?”

To get definitions out of the way, our use of the term “climate-proofing” referred to the practice of ensuring that one’s governance structures are able to anticipate and absorb current and projected climatic changes, without significant harm. Mr. Goodyear’s concern was that: “pursuing ‘climate friendly’ governmental policies could be used as tools for keeping dictators and tyrants in power.” (more…)