McKenzie Johnson, a Ph.D. candidate at the Nicholas School of the Environment, will present the talk "Strong Institutions in Weak States: Institution Building, Natural Resource Governance, and Conflict in Ghana and Sierra Leone," on Friday, October 14, 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m.
The idea that natural resources can be used to foster peace within and across states—environmental peacebuilding—has become influential in political science and environmental policy. Researchers posit that governance reforms that institutionalize standards of transparency and accountability, participatory governance, and modern regulation in resource-rich contexts can enhance prospects for peace and social justice and improve environmental outcomes. However, the application of environmental peacebuilding theory to conflict contexts has outpaced the ability of empirical research to substantiate its claims, and scholars remain unclear about the mechanisms through which governance reforms minimize conflict risk and promote opportunities for peace. Johnson's presentation will examine under what conditions does the application of global natural resource governance initiatives mitigate conflict or foster peace within conflict-affected contexts?
This talk is part of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the University Program in Environmental Policy seminar series featuring leading experts discussing a variety of pressing environmentally focused topics.