Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2017

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science and International Affairs

First Advisor

Singh, Ranjit

Major or Concentration

International Affairs


In the past few decades, the Middle East and North Africa has experienced two seemingly disparate phenomena: the effects of anthropogenic climate change and a high degree of civil unrest. Though on the surface these two phenomena may seem completely separate, there is evidence that government response to climate change affects the level of civil unrest among populations in this region. This paper hypothesizes that there is a relationship between these two phenomena. The hypothesis is tested using the case studies of Syria, Jordan, Tunisia, and Sudan in a controlled comparison. This paper finds that effective government response to climate change lessens the intensity of civil unrest while ineffective or nonexistent government response increases the intensity of civil unrest.