The Future of Conflict (FoC) Program focuses on three issues – climate change, digital technologies, and the global economy – that are already redefining the conflict landscape. Climate change is increasing food insecurity, water scarcity and resource competition, while disrupting livelihoods and spurring migration. Technological change is transforming social order, from the use of social media to foment unrest to new weapons for waging war and suppressing dissent. The economic fragility of states threatens their pathways to peace, the extraction of oil, gas and minerals have contributed to new security challenges, and the increased use of economic sanctions has too often exacerbated the humanitarian impacts of conflict.
Africa is especially vulnerable to climate change, as millions are already experiencing record heat, extreme precipitation and rising sea levels. Increasingly, the security implications of changing weather patterns are visible in deadly land resource disputes between farmers and herders across the continent – including in the continent’s most populous country, Nigeria.