John O'Loughlin

John O'Loughlin
University of Colorado Boulder | CUB · Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS)

PhD

About

205
Publications
61,264
Reads
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5,115
Citations
Introduction
Additional affiliations
August 1988 - present
University of Colorado Boulder
Position
  • Professor of Geography
Education
August 1971 - December 1973
Pennsylvania State University
Field of study
  • Geography

Publications

Publications (205)
Presentation
Full-text available
Report to the community on preliminary data of panel survey 2020-2022 on climate change, food security and conflict in Isiolo Kenya
Article
While conflict prediction has gained considerable attention in recent years, the existing literature has relied mainly upon aggregated data for large administrative areas or even entire countries. Such approaches obscure significant geographic variation of conflict dynamics based on household and individual experiences. Conflicts are highly localiz...
Article
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This paper analyzes responses to geopolitical orientation questions in a survey of Belarus residents in early 2020, just months before the political crises that erupted later in the year. We adopt a critical geopolitical perspective that highlights geopolitical cultures as fields of contestation and debate over a state’s identity, orientation and e...
Article
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We evaluate the agreement between drought perceptions of two nationally representative samples of Kenyans (2014 and 2018) and instrument-measured rainfall and vegetation (IMRV) change. Our work adds to a growing body of research designed to evaluate people’s awareness and understanding of climate change and global warming. Relatively few existing s...
Article
Respondents often answer ‘don’t know’ to sensitive survey questions to avoid revealing their true opinions, especially in post-conflict societies, thus requiring difficult decisions for analysing affected survey data. Using the same five sensitive questions in ten surveys from conflict-affected societies in the former Soviet Union in the period 200...
Article
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The potential links between climate and conflict are well studied, yet disagreement about the specific mechanisms and their significance for societies persists. Here, we build on assessment of the relationship between climate and organized armed conflict to define crosscutting priorities for future directions of research. They include (1) deepening...
Article
We respond to an invitation by Geoforum's editors to join an exchange on the future of scholarly publishing, in particular debates that have crystallized around the publisher of this journal (and 2500 others), Elsevier, who are part of a wider corporation now known as RELX. Although we write in a personal capacity, we also draw on our experience as...
Article
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Why one should not ignore the 'don't know' answers in surveys in contested and post-conflict regions
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In 2014, Ukraine descended into war. The geographically delimited nature of the war in Ukraine, confined to two eastern oblasts, raises the questions of whether war changes geopolitical attitudes in regions proximate to the fighting. Using attitudinal surveys with similar questions in April and December 2014 in the contested territory of southeaste...
Article
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Research findings on the relationship between climate and conflict are diverse and contested. Here we assess the current understanding of the relationship between climate and conflict, based on the structured judgments of experts from diverse disciplines. These experts agree that climate has affected organized armed conflict within countries. Howev...
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The widespread international condemnation of the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014 is at odds with the strong local support for the transfer of territory in the peninsula. Though regarded as illegitimate by most governments as indicated in a UN General Assembly vote, the Russian government argued that the transfer was justified since it...
Article
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As global temperatures rise, drought-induced human relocation is expected to increase. Using original national survey data from Kenya, we investigate whether people who report relocating due to drought are more likely to be victims of violence than people who do not move. We also examine whether this migrant sample supports the use of violence at h...
Article
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For states that have recently declared their independence but remained unrecognized “de facto states,” building a national identity is critical in the face of international rejection of their political status. Key elements of this new or re-animated national identity are political and cultural icons symbolizing the new political entity but with his...
Article
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When Political Geography (Quarterly) was established in 1981, the field barely registered in the international social science community and had become a “moribund backwater”. The journal has motivated and reflected a sizable body of published works for almost two generations. The impact of these articles, however, is muted for a variety of reasons...
Article
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A spatial analysis of the geography of insurgency in the North Caucasus of Russia from 1999 through the end of 2016, focused on the period since 2010, corroborates other work on the incidence of violence in the region. A sharp drop in the absolute number of conflict events over the past half-decade occurred as violence diffused from Chechnya in the...
Article
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Shock events are often pivotal moments in geopolitics and objects of intense disagreement among conflicting parties. This paper examines the downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over eastern Ukraine in July 2014 and the divergent blame storylines produced on Russian and Ukrainian television about the event. It then examines results of a que...
Article
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Post-war state-building is fraught with challenges as “war-makers” pivot to become “state-makers.” Citizen assessments of public good provision and physical security provide a measure of how state-building is perceived internally. State-building may also necessitate external dependence (Russia, for example, provides significant financial and milita...
Article
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We address two questions on the effects of climate change for social instability. First, do droughts and their associated environmental impacts affect support for the use of violence? Second, do local-level formal and informal institutions moderate support for violence when and where droughts worsen? To answer these questions, we conducted a nation...
Article
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How will local violent conflict patterns in sub‐Saharan Africa evolve until the middle of the 21st century? Africa is recognized as a particularly vulnerable continent to environmental and climate change since a large portion of its population is poor and reliant on rain‐fed agriculture. We use a climate‐sensitive approach to model sub‐Saharan Afri...
Article
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How will local violent conflict patterns in sub‐Saharan Africa evolve until the middle of the 21st century? Africa is recognized as a particularly vulnerable continent to environmental and climate change since a large portion of its population is poor and reliant on rain‐fed agriculture. We use a climate‐sensitive approach to model sub‐Saharan Afri...
Article
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The concept of the Russian world (Russkii mir) re-entered geopolitical discourse after the end of the Soviet Union. Though it has long historical roots, the practical definition and geopolitical framing of the term has been debated and refined in Russian political and cultural circles during the years of the Putin presidency. Having both linguistic...
Article
Two questions on the effects of climate change for social instability are addressed. First, do droughts and their associated environmental impacts affect support for the use of violence? Second, do local level formal and informal institutions moderate support for violence where droughts become worse? To answer these questions a national survey of 1...
Article
Full-text available
Existing research on the relationship between mountainous terrain and conflict has generally been implemented using crude metrics capturing the actions and motivations of armed groups, both insurgent and government. We provide a more geographically nuanced investigation of two specific propositions relating mountainous terrain to violent conflict a...
Article
For the past six years, the availability of Wikileaks data-including the SIGACTS violent event data for Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the diplomatic cables – has posed an important challenge for international relations and conflict researchers. Despite the evident attractions of the vast trove of primary data involving US military and diplomatic...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of the Russian world (Russkii mir) re-entered geopolitical discourse after the end of the Soviet Union. Though it has long historical roots, the practical definition and geopolitical framing of the term has been debated and refined in Russian political and cultural circles during the years of the Putin presidency. Having both linguistic...
Article
Full-text available
In the spring of 2014, some anti-Maidan protestors in southeast Ukraine, in alliance with activists from Russia, agitated for the creation of a large separatist entity on Ukrainian territory. These efforts sought to revive a historic region called Novorossiya (“New Russia”) on the northern shores of the Black Sea that was created by Russian imperia...
Book
In June 1995, a mile-long stretch of shops in Bradford, an industrial city in the woolen region of Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, was burned to the ground in a riot. While the flashpoint that touched off the riot was similar to earlier riots in Detroit (1967), Miami (1980), London (1981), and Los Angeles (1993) - poor treatment of a minority popu...
Chapter
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Two fundamental concepts in spatial analysis resonate both in political geography and in other disciplines that examine geographical distributions of human phenomena. The meanings and significance of context (place) and non-stationarity (spatial autocorrelation) have to date been examined haphazardly. Fundamental questions relating to the definitio...
Article
How does political violence affect the attitudes and beliefs of affected populations? This question remains of central concern to the discipline of conflict studies. In response, we make the case (by empirical example) that the choice of spatial and temporal ranges of analysis influences conclusions about the associations between exposure to politi...
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In the wake of the Ukrainian crisis in 2013-2014, renewed attention has been given to the earlier so-called “frozen conflicts” of the successor states of the Soviet Union. In Georgia, Moldova, and Azerbaijan, national conflicts of the early 1990s resulted in establishment of four breakaway regions, the de facto states of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Tr...
Chapter
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In contemporary spatial and quantitative study of political geographical phenomena, two fundamental and perennial concepts have maintained their significance. Theoretical and empirical understanding of context (places) and non‐stationarity (spatial autocorrelation) continue to bedevil spatial analysis. Fundamental questions that relate to issues in...
Article
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Ongoing debates in the academic community and in the public policy arena continue without clear resolution about the significance of global climate change for the risk of increased conflict. Sub-Saharan Africa is generally agreed to be the region most vulnerable to such climate impacts. Using a large database of conflict events and detailed climato...
Article
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A recent Climatic Change review article reports a remarkable convergence of scientific evidence for a link between climatic events and violent intergroup conflict, thus departing markedly from other contemporary assessments of the empirical literature. This commentary revisits the review in order to understand the discrepancy. We believe the origin...
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In an era of growing concern about the human impacts of climate change, the academic and policy communities are paying increasing attention to the possible link between weather anomalies and violent conflict. Early research papers on the topic by Burke et al. (1) and the reanalysis and extension of their work by Buhaug (2) claim contradictory findi...
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Ascribing violence to extreme weather and climate change risks anchoring a modern form of environmental determinism.
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De facto states, functional on the ground but unrecognized by most states, have long been black boxes for systematic empirical research. This study investigates de facto states’ internal legitimacy—people's confidence in the entity itself, the regime, and institutions. While internal legitimacy is important for any state, it is particularly importa...
Article
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Discussions of the territorial conflict over Nagorny Karabakh often fail to convey the multiple political geographies at play in the dispute. This paper outlines six distinct political geographies—territorial regimes and geographical imaginations—that are important in understanding Armenian perspectives on the conflict only (Azerbaijani perspective...
Article
Intraurban migration theory suggests that locational decisions are a function of housing subsectors, defined by quality, price, location, and tenure. The development of foreign ghettos in German cities is expected to increase if the intraurban migration and emigration-immigration behavior of Germans and foreigners is different among housing subsect...
Article
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Has 20 years of separation between the Republics of Moldova and Pridnestrovie (Transnistria, PMR) generated a division in attitudes and beliefs in the two populations? Using near-simultaneous social scientific surveys from the summer of 2010 in the two republics, we measured four localized geopolitical divides: the local economies, historical memor...
Article
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South Ossetia was the main site of the August 2008 war between Georgian military forces, local South Ossetian forces, and the Russian military. Soon thereafter, the Russian Federation recognized the territory as a state, the South Ossetian Republic. This article reviews the contending scripts used to understand South Ossetia and the basis of its cl...
Article
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Recent studies concerning the possible relationship between climate trends and the risks of violent conflict have yielded contradictory results, partly because of choices of conflict measures and modeling design. In this study, we examine climate-conflict relationships using a geographically disaggregated approach. We consider the effects of climat...
Article
Despite an increase in attention to 'geography' in civil war research, local dynamics in violence remain poorly understood. To address this gap, we analyze disaggregated violent event data for the North Caucasus of Russia from the start of the second Chechen war, in August 1999, to July 2010. We employ a diffusion perspective to examine the spread...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate insurgent-coalition interaction using the WikiLeaks dataset of Iraq war logs 2004–2009. After a review of existing theoretical interventions on the dynamics of insurgency and presenting a baseline model of violent events, we test a conceptual model of reciprocity using an innovative space-time Granger causality technique. Our estimat...
Article
Full-text available
Despite an increase in attention to 'geography' in civil war research, local dynamics in violence remain poorly understood. To address this gap, we analyze disaggregated violent event data for the North Caucasus of Russia from the start of the second Chechen war, in August 1999, to July 2010. We employ a diff usion perspective to examine the spread...
Article
It is widely believed that democracy requires an active citizenry, independent and autonomous from the state. In the countries emerging from the former Soviet Union, research has not documented widespread civic engagement, and a lack of empirical data has hampered detailed investigations of civic engagement in the region. In our own study, longitud...
Article
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Satellite data can provide a remote view of developments in often dangerous conflict zones. Nighttime lights imagery from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS) satellite was used to detect the effects of war in the Caucasus region of Russia and Georgia. To assess changes over time, the data were...