ABSTRACT

Based on the descriptions of the climate-conflict debates, this chapter consider the role of knowledge resources, in particular scientific knowledge, in climate-conflict actor-networks in light of the linear causal mechanisms, modalities of translation and the diversity of actors, resources and circulation channels. It thereby sheds light on the contradictory co-existence of disputed evidence and accelerating securitization of climate change. The chapter describes an epistemic landscape that bears little resemblance to idealized linear science-policy relations: knowledge resources are heterogenous and fragmented; the sciences work in reaction to narratives; and science-policy boundaries are regularly blurred. It also highlights how the scientific basis of the linear causal mechanisms is imbalanced toward the natural sciences, and involves very limited resources for understanding human components of the mechanisms, leading to marginalization of impacted populations, stereotypical presentations, and risks of confirmation bias in climate-conflict research. Finally, it considers how the dynamics of knowledge leads to changing patterns of influence within the climate-conflict actor-networks, describing how influence, rather than being an attribute of actors, results from changing constellations of knowledge resources and changing modalities of translations.