The Streetlight Effect in Climate Change Research on Africa

University of Denver Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017   |   12:15-1:30 PM   |  SRH 3.122

On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, the Clements Center, along with the Strauss Center and LBJ School of Public Affairs, welcome Cullen Hendrix, Strauss Center CCAPS researcher and Associate Professor at the University of Denver, for a talk on the "streetlight effect" in climate change research on Africa. The event is free and open to the public. 

Dr. Hendrix's primary research focus is in modeling contentious politics – ranging from urban protest to armed conflict – as the outcome of interactions between domestic political institutions, global markets and advocacy networks, and environmental degradation and climatic change. He has published widely on the topics of contentious politics, the environment and civil conflict, food security, and human rights. 

In this talk, Dr. Hendrix discusses the powerful influence of the “streetlight effect” – the tendency of scholars to focus on particular questions and cases for reasons of convenience and career opportunities, rather than theoretical importance or practical relevance – on climate change research in Africa. The streetlight effect has led scholars and policymakers to focus on particular countries and conflicts at the expense of others, resulting in a biased state of knowledge about climate change impacts and adaptation, agricultural development, and the security implications of climate change. The talk concludes with recommendations for addressing gaps in both our practical and theoretical knowledge.


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