CICERO - Center for International Climate Research

A void in Central Asia research: climate change

Roman Vakulchuk, Anne Sophie Daloz, Indra Øverland, Haakon Fossum Sagbakken, Karina Standal

This article assesses the extent to which the academic community engaged with climate change in Central Asia between 1991 and 2021. The article finds that climate change has been neglected in the field of Central Asia area studies. Out of a total 13,488 journal articles in eight key journals for Central Asia research, only 33 articles (0.24%) were on climate change or a related topic. Climate change has been similarly neglected at the events of 17 Central Asia area studies associations. Out of 1305 conference panels, none was focused on climate change. Out of 10,249 individual presentations, only two (0.02%) were focused on climate change. The very same scholars who have been most active in the securitization of Central Asia have ignored the severe security threats that climate change poses to the region. The article contributes to the field of Central Asian studies by drawing attention to severe knowledge gaps that hinder the Central Asian countries from adapting to climate change. It concludes with six recommendations.

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