Climatic disasters and radical politics in southern Pakistan: the non-linear connection

Ayesha Siddiqi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (SciVal)


This paper is a local level examination of the political spaces and opportunities that arise for radical political agents in the aftermath of a climatic disaster. It explores the theoretical argument that disasters break the social contract between the state and disaster-affected communities by opening political space for change. The empirical work is based on a large-scale flooding disaster that affected southern Pakistan in 2010 and 2011 and caused international concern around increased Islamist mobilisation through their disaster relief programmes. The case study investigates the extent to which the climatic disaster opened political space for the radical Islamist group, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, to mobilise. Based on fieldwork conducted in three districts of Sindh in southern Pakistan, this paper demonstrates that climatic disasters are able to impact radical politics. This connection is not linear or causal but rather very complex. It further explains why this type of inquiry is relevant in order to understand climate change and security.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-910
Number of pages26
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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