97: CSIS: Environmental Scarcity and Conflict.

* Canadian Security Intelligence Service: Environmental Scarcity and Conflict. [PDF]

Commentary No. 71: Environmental Scarcity and Conflict

Commentary No. 71 has been archived.


Peter Gizewski
Spring 1997

Abstract: Peter Gizewski is Senior Associate, Project on Environment Population and Security, Peace and Conflict Studies Program, University of Toronto. In this Commentary, he provides general insights on environmental scarcity and conflicts in different parts of the world. Spring 1997. Author: Peter Gizewski.

Editors Note: Peter Gizewski is Senior Associate, Project on Environment Population and
Security, Peace and Conflict Studies Program, University of Toronto. In this Commentary, he
provides general insights on environmental scarcity and conflicts in different parts of the world.

Disclaimer: Publication of an article in the Commentary series does not imply CSIS authentication of the information nor CSIS endorsement of the author’s views.


The past decade has witnessed growing recognition of the importance of environmental factors for national and international security. In 1987, the UN World Commission on Environment and Development pointed to environmental stress as “a possible cause as well as a result of conflict”. In 1992, the UN Security Council warned that sources of instability in the economic, social, humanitarian, and ecological fields included military and political “threats to peace and stability”. Two years later, the Clinton Administration observed that “terrorism, narcotics trafficking, environmental degradation, rapid population growth and refugee flow s …have security implications for present and long-term American policy”.

Interest in the environment as a security issue can be attributed to a number of factors. The Cold War’s end freed policy makers from their preoccupation with the superpower struggle, enabling them to contemplate new threats on the international security front. On the other hand, a steady rise in subnational, religious and ethnically motivated civil strife, frequently within states plagued by environmental scarcity, led many observers to suggest the existence of a causal link between the two.

A wealth of popular commentary in the past few years has asserted the existence of general links between environmental stress and violence and security concerns. But proponents of such linkages tend to sensationalise the issue, ignoring empirical research and exaggerating the importance of environmental pressures as a conflict-generating force. In fact, until recently, scholars and policy makers functioned with relatively limited understanding of the causal mechanisms by which environmental scarcity can lead to conflict.

Recent work has yielded results which partially fill this gap. Employing a series of detailed
examples in which environment exhibits a prima facie link to social instability, such case studies carefully trace a causal connection between scarcity and conflict, and advance a set of key propositions which describe these links and the conditions under which they apply.

General Insights

Current work on linkages between environment and conflict emphasizes the conflict-generating potential of renew able resource scarcities (i.e. cropland, fresh water, fuel wood and fish). While the strategic significance of non-renew able resources (e.g. petroleum, minerals) has long been recognized, market forces which reduce their demand and stimulate substitution and technical innovation have served increasingly to mitigate their scarcity and conflict-generating potential. Such forces have been less effective in preventing scarcities of renewables-scarcities which, growing evidence show s, threaten the internal stability of a number of developing countries.

According to the University of Toronto’s Thomas Homer-Dixon, scarcities of agricultural land, forests, fresh water and fish are those which contribute the most to violence. These deficiencies can be demand-induced, a function of population growth within a region; supply induced, resulting from the degradation of resources within the region; or structural, the result of an unequal distribution of resources throughout the society. The three processes are not mutually exclusive and may-and often do-occur simultaneously, acting in tandem.

The degradation and depletion of renew able resources can generate a range of social effects.
It can work to encourage powerful groups within society to shift resource distribution in their favour. This process, known as “resource capture” generates profits for elites while intensifying the effects of scarcity among the poor or weak. A process of “ecological marginalization” often follows with poorer groups forced to seek the means of survival in more ecologically fragile regions such as steep upland slopes, areas at risk of desertification, tropical rain forests, and low quality public lands within urban areas. The high population densities in these regions, combined with a lack of capital to protect the local ecosystem, breeds severe environmental scarcity and chronic poverty.

Other social effects can include decreased agricultural potential, regional economic decline, population displacement and a disruption of legitimized institutions and social relations. Most significantly, these scarcities can, either individually or in combination, generate forces and processes which contribute to violent conflict among groups within society.

Such scarcities may act to strengthen group identities based on ethnic, class or religious differences, most notably by intensifying competition among groups for ever dwindling resources. At the same time, they can work to undermine the legitimacy of the state and its capacity to meet challenges. As the balance of power gradually shifts from the state to the challenging groups, the prospects for violence increase. Such violence tends to be  subnational, diffuse and persistent.

States may prove capable of avoiding suffering and social stress by adapting to scarcities. They can pursue programs and policies which encourage more sustainable resource use.

Alternatively, a state may disengage itself from reliance on scarce resources by producing goods and services less dependent on such resources. The resulting products could then be traded for items which local scarcities preclude the state from producing. More often, how ever, countries lack the social and technical ingenuity needed to adapt successfully to the shortages they face.

Case Evidence

Research conducted under the Project on Environment, Population and Security at the Peace and Conflict Studies Program, University of Toronto, amply documents the processes and effects described above. Indeed, case studies examining the relationship between environmental scarcities and violent conflict illustrate the conflict-generating impact of scarcity in a variety of regional contexts, including Mexico (Chiapas), the Middle East (Gaza), Pakistan and South Africa.

a) Mexico: Chiapas

In January 1994, masked rebels seized control of the capital of the Mexican state of Chiapas, San Cristobal, and established a revolutionary government. The Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion National (EZLN), commonly know n as the Zapatistas, held pow er for only four days. Yet the rebellion challenged the legitimacy of the ruling Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) throughout Mexico and had serious international repercussions. The ensuing peso crisis cost Mexico and its NAFTA trading partners, the United States and Canada, billions of dollars in their effort to halt the dramatic decline in the value of Mexico’s currency.

The insurgency w as partly attributable to the policies of a Mexican corporatist state weakened by rapid economic liberalization, and partly to the efforts of churches and activist groups to educate the indigenous population of Chiapas to the inequities they suffered at the hands of local and state elites. Yet it also ow ed much to rising environmental scarcity. Indeed, these scarcities helped raise indigenous grievances to the level necessary for both the rise and success of the Zapatista rebels.

The indigenous Chiapan population has always led a marginal existence. Restricted to a limited number of occupations, chiefly in agriculture, and forced to exist on minimum w age or less, they pose a sharp contrast to local elites who manipulate land tenure arrangements to
maintain political and economic dominance within the region. While average landholding for subsistence producers is two hectares, that of commercial producers is 20 hectares.

Corrupt credit and tax programs and the lack of economies of scale enjoyed by large-scale agricultural producers reinforce inequality. Inadequate social infrastructure, e.g. potable water, electricity and educational and health services, exacerbates the poverty of the indigenous people.

Over the years, PRI and local elites w ere able to distribute just enough land to accommodate
increases in the indigenous population. By the 1980s, how ever, the effects of rapid population growth and land degradation had made viable agricultural land increasingly scarce. Indigenous population growth of 4.6 per cent, along with a steady influx of refugees fleeing civil conflict in Guatemala, rapidly decreased land availability to a point w here most potentially arable land outside bioreserve areas w as occupied. Deforestation of the Lancandon Rain Forest caused serious fuel shortages in local communities, and w ind and water erosion in various parts of the region further reduced cropland.

In response, elites and wealthy farmers subverted land reform and redistribution policies to seize the best land for themselves. Peasants w ere forced to migrate to the periphery of the rain forest. Yet as they cleared new land, it w as either seized by wealthy elites for their own use or rapidly degraded. By 1983, over 100,000 people w ere completely landless and the peasants moved further into the rain forest. Competition for viable land intensified among farmers, ranchers, squatters, loggers and the indigenous community. Protests against breaches of land rights by state elites became common.

By 1992, the government removed the nominal protections afforded public land farmed by peasant communities as it instituted an Agrarian reform law as part of its overall program of economic reform. With indigenous land rights no longer legally protected, the elites stepped up their seizure of good land, and the peasants w ere further marginalized.

The climate of environmental stress, land scarcity and increasing peasant dissatisfaction proved to be ideally fertile ground, how ever, for the rise and success of the Zapatista challenge to state authority. The ELZN quickly assumed the mantle of protector of the indigenous people, focusing blame for their impoverishment on the regime, and adopting a platform of land redistribution and democratic reform in support of the peasant cause. ELZN support proved strongest in those regions in which environmental stress w as most prevalent-the highlands and eastern low lands. Weakened by economic reform and growing opposition to its policies, the PRI proved increasingly unable to check rising Zapatista insurgency. By 1994, plummeting state legitimacy and weakness had combined with rising peasant grievances to trigger armed rebellion.

The instability continues. But the PRI is also pursuing negotiations with the rebels in an effort
to resolve the crisis.

b) Middle East: Gaza

In Gaza, conflict has been a fact of life since the late 1980s. The Intifadah, a spontaneous yet sustained grassroots uprising that targeted Israeli soldiers in an effort to end Israeli control of the Gaza strip, began in 1987 in Gaza’s Jabalya refugee camp. The strife resulted in
considerable loss of Israeli and Palestinian life, deterioration of living conditions and intra-
Palestinian violence.

While the achievement of limited autonomy for Palestinians in Gaza brought hopes for peace to the region, instability and violence has persisted. The transfer of regional authority from Israel to a Palestinian Authority (PA) has failed to improve socio-economic conditions within Gaza, a failure that has contributed to persistent support for Islamic groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, tension betw een these supporters and the PA and violent clashes with Arafat’s police.

This tension and violence have deep political roots. Yet environmental scarcity has contributed to the problem. In particular, water shortages have done much to breed instability. Arid and semi-arid conditions have always ensured the vulnerability of Gaza’s agriculture-intensive economy to water scarcity. Average annual rainfall is 117 million cubic metres (mcm), 40 per cent of which is required to recharge a single freshwater aquifer underlying the territory.

Despite representing the local population’s principal source of water, this aquifer is extremely vulnerable to saltwater intrusion and contamination from agricultural and industrial activity.

The population in Gaza is conservatively estimated at 700,000 to 800,000, with average population density ranging from 1,936 to 2,055 people per square kilometre. Density is highest in refugee camps, with the Jabalya camp possessing one of the highest population densities in the world (i.e. 100,000 people/km2). And population grow s at between 5.2 and 6 per cent, with fertility rates highest among refugees.

Demand for water in these circumstances now exceeds safe supply. Groundwater consumption consistently outstrips sustainable rates; annual Palestinian water use is twice the sustainable rate of supply, and many w ells have been illegally drilled to withdraw additional reserves from the aquifer.

Continual overdrawing of the aquifer has led to falling water tables, salt intrusion and chemical contamination. Gaza’s ground water is classified as saline, ranging from 650 to 3,600 parts per million, and some analysts predict complete salinization of the aquifer in the near future.

Meanwhile, unregulated use of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers pose an additional pollution risk, particularly in light of the aquifer’s closeness to surface level. The rapid deterioration and depletion of water resources severely taxes Gaza economically, politically and in terms of public health. Water scarcity hampers agriculture and has discouraged investment in the agricultural sector. High levels of salinity have reduced yields of citrus, Gaza’s largest agricultural crop. Grazing areas and animal husbandry have suffered.

Poor water quality has ensured that cholera, infectious disease and parasites are a constant threat to the Gaza population. Meanwhile, unemployment stands at an estimated 60 per cent. Such conditions have heightened the level of frustration within the Palestinian population and affected the ability of the Palestinian Authority to govern. As PA legitimacy plummets, many Gazans turn to radical Islamist groups. Such groups deeply oppose the arrangements struck between the PA and the Israeli government and have launched a series of attacks, including suicide bombings, against Israel. In turn, Israel has responded with periodic border closings, blocking the access of Gaza day workers to Israel which has further damaged the Gaza economy. All the while, water scarcity increases, economic frustration builds and a climate of intra-Palestinian tension and instability lingers.

c) South Africa

While South Africa experienced a relatively stable transition to democratic rule, violence within the Black South African community has escalated steadily since the 1980s. The bitter irony for many Black South Africans is that this strife increased at a time w hen many anticipated a transformation to a more peaceful society, with the release of Nelson Mandela, the legalising of political activity and the official end to apartheid. From Mandela’s release in February 1990 to the end of 1993, an estimated 12,000 people died as a result of political violence in South Africa. Instability has declined since the election, but crime levels remain high; in areas w here political control is still contested, political violence continues at alarming levels.

Admittedly not the sole cause of such turmoil, stress on renew able resources has nonetheless contributed powerfully to the violence. The South African ecosystem is characterized by low rainfall and water scarcity. Soils are susceptible to erosion and are often unsuitable for agricultural production. Approximately 65 per cent of the country receives less than 500 millimetres of precipitation annually, the minimum required for rain-fed cropping. Low rainfall and fragile soils limit agricultural potential.

Only 16 per cent of the total amount of land used for agriculture is considered suitable for crops, and only 4 per cent of the total is considered high potential agricultural land. Thirteen million hectares of cropland fall within commercial farming areas, while only 2.5 million hectares are found in small-scale farming areas in the former homelands. This imbalance, combined with other natural resource limitations (e.g. poor soils and low rainfall), has led to extensive environmental deficiency. Experts estimate that South Africa has lost 25 per cent of its topsoil since 1900, and that 55 per cent of the entire country is threatened by desertification. The former homelands are situated in especially fragile areas and are unsuitable for supporting the level of agricultural production needed to sustain their populations. Per capita food production has fallen in the former homelands, which are now net importers of food, in part due to land degradation and high population growth.

Deforestation destabilizes soils and changes hydrological cycles. This disrupts key ecosystem links and contributes to environmental stress. Inadequate energy services force roughly 40 per cent of the black population to depend on fuelwood for cooking and heating. Meanwhile, 12 million to 16 million people lack potable water supplies, and half the state’s population lacks adequate sanitation. Seventy per cent of urban blacks do not have access to running water, and are forced to rely on severely contaminated river systems to meet their daily needs.

The black population has been growing by roughly 3 per cent annually. This rate w ill make them 78.3 per cent of the total population by year 2000. Such growth has contributed to severe land scarcity. Under apartheid, the average population density of the former homelands w as ten times the density of rural white South Africa. Population in the homelands grew from 4.5 million to 11 million between 1960 and 1980, while land area remained constant. A fertility rate estimated at 5.12 children per woman, combined with a lack of education, health care and secure employment ensures that high population growth in the former homelands continues.

The apartheid system institutionalized the uneven distribution of environmental resources. Lacking political and economic pow er, blacks w ere forced to subsist on a severely limited and eroded land base within black homelands and townships. These inequalities w ere reinforced by stark shortfalls in agricultural inputs (e.g. capital, fertilizer, veterinary services and new agricultural technologies). Given an average disposable income among blacks of $150 per year-one-sixteenth the white average-homeland farmers w ere precluded from making the long-term investments necessary to protect their land.

Rights to community land w ere unevenly distributed among the former homeland population. As resource scarcities heightened, resource capture became common, with powerful groups within the homelands seizing access to remaining resources. In the homelands’ highly corrupt systems of political rule, land rights w ere traded for political favours. Overpopulation, resource depletion and inequitable access to resources in turn resulted in ecological marginalization.

People were forced to migrate to marginal lands within the homelands to survive (e.g. hillsides, river valleys and vastly eroded sweet veld). Then, in the early 1980s, as the apartheid system began to show signs of limited reform, people began migrating into ecologically and infrastructurally marginal urban areas.

Black townships-built on sites considered not useful by the white community-w ere often overcrowded, short of housing and characterized by inferior infrastructure. Dramatically increased urban densities combined with the impoverishment created by apartheid, forced people to rely on the urban environment to provide for their daily needs. Overcrowding and poverty ensured that new residents built their houses with nonconventional materials scavenged from local dumps and public buildings, as well as with mud, grass and straw.

Growing reliance on urban areas further degraded the environment, increasing local erosion
and flooding. As scarcities rose, people migrated to new urban areas and the process of impoverishment and degradation w as repeated.

Local urban institutions in South Africa have proven unable to cope with the growing demands imposed by the huge influx of people to, and movement within, urban areas. This has led to considerable social segmentation, population divided into subgroups based on ethnicity, family clans, townships, informal settlements and work hostels, the better to protect their interests.

By 1990, warlord struggles in urban areas had become linked to the political battle between the African National Congress (ANC) and the Inkatha Freedom Party for control of South Africa’s post-apartheid state. In the midst of rising environmental scarcity and weakened social institutions, contending warlords w ere able to seize control of key resources such as water and land and exploit rising grievances to their ow n ends. Warlords from each side mobilized alienated, underemployed male youth in their struggle, with the ensuing competition resulting in the worst outbreak of violence in the country’s history. Meanwhile, the South African state debilitated by the reform process-proved incapable of checking the violence.

The election of Nelson Mandela increased state legitimacy. The Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP) recognized the needs of society, and interactions between state and society have become more constructive and vigorous. Key to a continuation of improving conditions, how ever, is ensuring that renew able resources in the newly emerging state are equitably distributed and sustainably managed.

d) Pakistan

The past decade has witnessed a marked rise in violent ethnic clashes in Pakistan’s  urban centres. Cities such as Karachi, Islamabad, Hyderabad and Raw alpindi have been especially hard hit. Such clashes are often ignited by an isolated, seemingly chance incident such as a traffic accident or breakdown in public services. The mishap is attributed to a particular ethnic group and quickly escalates into a spiral of retaliation among contending groups.

The economic impact of this turmoil has been considerable. This is particularly true in Karachi, the country’s largest city, premier industrial port, home to more than 65 per cent of its industry and 80 per cent of its finance. Recently, armed violence along with a three-day general strike resulted in the loss of $260 million in revenue and left potential investors reluctant even to visit the city.

Such violence is partially attributable to chronic weaknesses in Pakistan’s long-standing inability to provide for the needs of its population, and ethnic rivalries dating to the time of independence in 1947. Yet growing environmental scarcities have led to processes which have accentuated or exacerbated these conflicts.

Today, with more than 135 million inhabitants, Pakistan is the tenth most populous state in the world. The current population growth rate of 3.1 per cent means the population will double w ithin 22 years. The high growth rate is due largely to high fertility coupled with rapid decline in mortality, a result of improved health care and nutrition. Nevertheless, infant mortality remains high and this, along w ith poor investment in human and social welfare, has kept birthrates high.

Less than 20 per cent of total land surveyed retains the potential for intensive agricultural use, while 62 per cent is classified as having low potential for crop, livestock and forestry production. Virtually all land classified as cultivable is now being exploited. Intensification of agricultural practices is constrained by a number of factors: poor water management; absentee landlords; a fragmentation of land holds; smaller-sized farms due to inheritance laws; poor access to capital for improvement of agricultural techniques; and inadequate agricultural extension practices. Meanw hile, land productivity is reduced by water and soil erosion, salinity, sodicity, w aterlogging, flooding and loss of organic matter.

Water resources have alw ays been limited, given the region’s arid and semi-arid climate. Water suffers from severe pollution, and many rivers in urban areas are virtually open sewers. Pakistan’s large irrigation system is highly inefficient, w ith almost 40 per cent of water diverted for irrigation being lost to seepage and evaporation. Poor management practices have also caused salinisation of soils, thereby affecting crop productivity.

Over the past 75 years, forest cover has decreased from 14.2 per cent to 5.2 per cent of total land area. Uncontrolled forest exploitation has caused soil erosion and sedimentation, desertification of once productive lands, siltation of waterways in the plains (making them prone to flooding) and marked scarcities of fuelwood and building timber (creating an economic burden on low income communities).

A small elite controls an exceedingly large share of Pakistan’s resources and industry. High and middle income groups absorb the vast majority of urban resources, with the wealthiest 25 per cent of the urban population receiving almost two-thirds of the housing and services. Meanwhile, in rural areas, large landowners dominate life and derive the majority of benefits to be had from agriculture. Land reforms have failed to alter fundamentally the highly skewed distribution of rural wealth.

These inequalities are exacerbated by resource capture. As scarcities of renew able resources have increased, influential groups have seized control of them for personal gain, enriching themselves while further impoverishing the majority of the population. Within the timber industry, powerful individuals have used large transfers of state development funds to open forest areas for exploitation.

Dramatically rising populations and increasing commercial and industrial activity have increased the value of land in urban centres. Land speculation thrives in illegal squatter settlements w here land is subdivided into plots and sold to low -income groups, usually for a moderate initial outlay. But interest rates for the initial purchase and for services are exceedingly high, and often overburden purchasers to a degree that perpetuates their impoverishment.

The stagnation and decline in agricultural productivity-in part the consequence of growing environmental degradation and scarcity-contributes to rural poverty and unemployment.

Despite the fact that more than 70 per cent of all rural households are classified as agricultural, many do not earn enough to meet their basic needs. In 1981, a study of agriculture in the Punjab found that one-quarter of all small farmers (w ho comprise the majority of farmers in the province) w ere forced to supplement their agricultural earnings by other means. Other sources have reported rural underemployment approaching 65 per cent nationwide.

Rural impoverishment has encouraged considerable migration to urban centres, severely straining urban infrastructure. Not only have the quality and availability of basic urban resources and utilities (e.g. housing, potable water, electricity, gas, drainage and sewerage) rapidly declined, but squatter settlements, often located on the most marginal land, have mushroomed. Today, squatters account for approximately 20 to 25 per cent of Pakistan’s total urban population.

In Karachi, population rises at 6 per cent per annum. Urban services, how ever, increase by 1.2 per cent, the government is able to meet only one-eighth of the demand for low -income housing, and local governments are unable to provide even minimally acceptable levels of basic services. Only 15 to 20 per cent of sew age is treated, the rest flow s directly into the sea.

And while 33 per cent of the city’s solid waste is transported to dump sites, the rest is picked over by scavengers in the streets. Not surprisingly, waterborne diseases due to poor sanitation account for 25 to 30 per cent of total cases in public hospitals and dispensaries nationwide, and an estimated 40 per cent of deaths.

The massive influx of migrants to urban areas accentuates long-standing rivalries among diverse and contending social groups pushed into close contact w ith one another under extremely difficult socio-economic conditions. This in turn, strengthens group affiliation and cohesion, and creates intense inter-group competition for ever-dw indling urban resources.

State and local governments, meanw hile, are increasingly incapable of addressing the mounting grievances and demands of the population. Governments are characterized by murky lines of authority, few taxing pow ers and little accountability. W ith institutionalized and peaceful channels of unavailable support, state legitimacy has plummeted and violence-often along ethnic and class-based lines-has increased. Today, violent incidents betw een rival groups continue to occur.


In each of the cases discussed above, scarcities of renew able resources have interacted w ith political, economic and social factors to generate a series of conflict-producing conditions. As such, the role these shortages play in producing violent conflict is indirect and complex. Indeed, environmental deficiency rarely if ever, acts as the sole force leading to such strife.

Still, to ignore scarcity by virtue of the fact that it is but one of a number of forces leading to conflict would be misguided. Throughout the developing world, large populations remain almost completely dependent on renew able resources for their daily existence. Insufficient awareness of such dependencies risks underestimating the social stresses which the paucity of renew able resources can cause.

Nor is it w ise automatically to relegate scarcity to secondary status w hen considering the causes of conflict. As noted above, scarcity can act reciprocally to influence the political and economic character of social systems, for instance, w hen it stimulates powerful coalitions and elites to capture resources. And, if severe scarcity becomes irreversible, it may contribute to permanent social conflict, imposing a level of degradation which could remain an independent societal burden long after the political and economic factors that produced it are remedied.

Scarcities of this extreme nature can have impacts w ell beyond the societies experiencing them. As environmental insufficiency works to destabilize societies, states may prove increasingly vulnerable to takeovers by regimes more repressive internally, and more prone to reckless or threatening international behaviour. Dangers to neighbouring states, and threats to regional security and stability may correspondingly rise. More broadly, environmentally induced strife can affect international economic policies, create refugee flow s, and cause complex humanitarian disasters, demanding the attention and resources of the entire international community.

There is no single solution to the environmental scarcity/conflict linkage. A broad range of responses at the state, regional and multilateral levels will likely be required to meet the challenge such shortages pose. Given the degree by which societal peculiarities can vary their impact, sensitivity to context w ill doubtless be a crucial component of any effective policy.

Responses need not be capital intensive. Inexpensive measures aimed at bolstering human and economic development can be highly effective. In this regard, policies aimed at increasing education and literacy may be particularly beneficial, both for controlling population growth, and for promoting policies and practices which encourage sustainable development. Whatever the response, linkages between scarcity and conflict cannot be overlooked. Indeed, given current trends in the international security environment, it is likely that policy makers will find it ever more necessary to supplement a traditional political-military calculus with considerations of environment and development when assessing future security threats.

Select Bibligraphy:

Gizewski, Peter and Homer-Dixon, Thomas F., “Environmental Scarcity and Violent
Conflict: The Case of Pakistan”, University of Toronto: Occasional Paper for the Project on
Environment, Population and Security, February 1996.
Homer-Dixon, Thomas F., “Strategies for Studying Causation in Complex Ecological-Political
Systems. University of Toronto: Occasional Paper for the Project on Environment, Population and Security, June 1995.
Homer-Dixon, Thomas F., “Environmental Scarcity and Violent Conflict: Evidence from Cases,” International Security 19, No. 1, Summer 1994: 5-40.
Percival, Valerie and Homer-Dixon Thomas F., “Environmental Scarcity and Violent Conflict: The Case of South Africa”, University of Toronto: Occasional Paper for the Project on Environment, Population and Security, October 1995.
Howard, Philip and Homer-Dixon, Thomas F., “Environmental Scarcity and Violent Conflict: The Case of Chiapas. Mexico”, University of Toronto: Occasional Paper for the Project on Environment, Population and Security, January 1996.
Kelly, Kimberly and Homer-Dixon, Thomas F., “Environmental Scarcity and Violent Conflict: The Case of Gaza”, University of Toronto: Occasional Paper for the Project on Environment, Population and Security, January 1996.

Commentary is a regular publication of the Analysis and Production Branch of CSIS.
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Date Modified: 2011-11-14

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