The Yale Undergraduate Research Journal


The Middle East, which is already plagued by a series of security threats–such as terrorism, religious conflict, political instability, and more–is also an increasingly water-scarce and climate-vulnerable region. In this review, I examine the most recent and relevant literature on the debate of: how will, and how has climate change affected security in the Middle East? I examine five articles and one book that tackle this question, and I organize these sources based on the extent to which they argue that climate change is a determinant of insecurity in the region. While a few authors argue that climate change has or has not played a large role in the region’s insecurity, most authors argue that the debate is multi-faceted and complex, suggesting that climate change is just one of many factors–though still an important one–associated with instability in the region. I conclude this review with a series of gaps in the literature, as well as avenues for future research.