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Sustainability and Conflict in the Developing World (English)


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A CUSA Sustainability Seminar delivered by Renard Sexton on April 13, 2011. Renard Sexton is the Project Coordinator, Fundacion Futuro Latinoamericano (Quito, Ecuador) and is an International Affairs Columnist, FiveThirtyEight (New York Times).

There is a growing body of academic, applied and journalistic research that points to a strong relationship between natural resources and conflict in the developing world. Whether attributed to a 'resource curse' in the case of high value, extractable natural resources, or 'scarcity and competition' over water, land, fisheries and other resources, it is clear that natural resources and the environment, because of their importance to human survival, are an important contributor to and victim of violent conflict.

While there are many strategies for analyzing and transforming these sorts of conflicts in the short and medium term, such as negotiations and settlements over specific resources, external interventions that award control over resources, international boycotts of resources funding conflict, etc., sustainability and sustainable development have emerged as a potential key aspect of long term strategies. This talk will analyze, at a very practical level as well as in theory, where this has been and could be successful and where it will likely fall short.


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Renard Sexton
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