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Environmental Risk Factors for Atrocities: Next Steps in Building the Research and Policy Agenda

December 8, 2016

This policy salon dinner will center discussion on a new brief, “Putting Environmental Stress (Back) on the Mass Atrocities Agenda,” with author, Dr. Cullen Hendrix, associate professor at the Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. 

When and why do environmental stressors play a role in precipitating mass atrocities? How can the international community respond to signs of increased environmental stress on fragile political structures while the world is faced with global climate change? While there are emerging discussions around how environmental changes can contribute to conflict—including during the 2016 World Bank’s Law, Justice and Development Week—policy that links environmental stressors and mass atrocities is nascent. Policymakers need to better understand how environmental stresses—either real, in the form of land, water, and food scarcity, or imagined and promulgated by political entrepreneurs seeking to capitalize on fears of scarcity—might catalyze human rights abuses and mass violence.
In brief, Dr. Cullen Hendrix explores how environmental stress might increase the likelihood of atrocities, making policy recommendations for the international community to mitigate this risk. He suggests that environmental factors should be included and addressed in efforts to develop inclusive social narratives, maintain an open space for civil society, and promote equitable land use practices. What are the implications of these recommendations for international security policy, particularly around global displacement?  

Invitation Only

Jai-Ayla Sutherland
A Climate for Conflict: Stories from Somalia A Climate for Conflict: Stories from Somalia
The Ground Truth Project, New America, and the Stanley Foundation are hosting a Screening of “A Climate for Conflict” and discussion with the creators followed by a panel discussion on Climate Security and Societal Resilience on May 30, 2017.

Somalia today is at a crossroads between a deepening crisis and a path to stability. Photographer and filmmaker Nichole Sobecki and writer Laura Heaton spent 18 months documenting personal stories of Somalia, creating a film, photography, and reporting that vividly illustrate the human consequences and security risks of a changing climate. Read more.

Follow the conversation online with #AClimateforConflict.

Courier Courier
The Spring 2017 issue of Courier provides insight and perspective on different global policy areas, including mass atrocity prevention in the Gambia and climate change agricultural innovation in Morocco. This issue also features a special look at the global order by Stanley Foundation president, Keith Porter; a feature on the struggle of a Somalian refugee hoping to resettle in the US; and a Q&A from our latest explorer award winner. The full Spring 2017 issue. PDF (1,151K) Subscribe for FREE.

Stanley Foundation at 60
On December 12, 1956, the Stanley Foundation was certified as a nonprofit corporation in the state of Iowa, bringing to life an organization dedicated to creating a world in which there is a secure peace with freedom and justice. Sixty years later, the organization continues to pursue and advance that vision as a thriving nonpartisan operating foundation. Moreover, it remains an organization with a professional staff and the involvement of family members who have an ongoing role in shaping its strategy and core values. More.

Employment Opportunities
Policy Program Associate, Mass Violence and Atrocities
Position Overview

The Stanley Foundation seeks a program associate to join its Policy Programming Department. The chosen candidate will work with the foundation’s policy programming team and other staff to support the planning, implementation, and assessment of the impact of the foundation’s human protection policy programming in pursuit of our mission, vision, and organizational goals.

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