PhD Projects

Ongoing PhD Projects

Diverting Disasters: A Multi-method Analysis of Flood Management and its Conflict Implications in Pakistan

Principal Investigator: Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah
Project start:
Region: Pakistan
Funded by: University of Koblenz-Landau

Comparative governance analysis in the environmental sector and an analysis of land use conflicts in Brazil, Bolivia and Peru

The project is part of the project PRODIGY.

The MAP region is located in the south-west of the Amazon basin, around the triple-border of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia and characterized by an extraordinarily high biological and social diversity. The trinational initiative for the creation of the MAP region evolved in the second half of the 1990s and joint the local capacities to foster regional development through cross-border cooperation, joint management, solidarity and mutual support.
To conduct the comparative governance and conflict analysis, I will subdivide the research process into four main steps: (1) actor mapping and network analysis, (2) analysis of economic, socio-political and cultural context, (3) comparison of governance systems, (4) conflict analysis.
The research contributes to a better understanding of actors and institutions involved in land governance processes in the three countries and to understand conflicts that arise from the prevalent governance systems.

Principal Investigator: Rebecca Froese
Period: 05/2019
Region: Brazil, Peru, Bolivia
Funded by: University of Koblenz-Landau as part of a BMBF project

Water and Land-related conflicts in the Middle Drâa Valley of Morocco

The project is part of the project SALIDRAA جوج

The project is focused in the Middle Drâa Valley, located in the province of Zagora, south Morocco. An arid climate characterizes the middle part of the Drâa Valley; however, the presence of six oases make of this part of the valley a unique ecosystem and habitat for a wide variety of species. During hundreds of years, humans have been using the land of these oases to create a space of diversified agricultural production (currently, we find fruits, maize, livestock fodder, and gardening). As a result of this combined work of nature and man, a unique cultural landscape of outstanding historical, aesthetic, and anthropological value has emerged. However, the effects of climate change and the overuse of water resources in the area are leading to falling groundwater levels and increasing salinization of soils and water bodies, affecting both the ecology of the region and the livelihoods of people living there. Along with the effects of climate change, the policies implemented by the Moroccan government to modernize agriculture and reduce poverty in the country are accentuating social inequalities in accessing land and water while increasing the pressure over groundwater resources. In this context, this research is aimed at contributing to developing a better understanding of the critical water and land-related conflicts in the Drâa Valley.

Principal Investigator: Luis Miguel Silva-Novoa Sanchez
Project start:
Region: Morocco
Funded by: University of Koblenz-Landau as part of a BMBF project


Concluded PhD Projects

Water Abundance Is Not Yet Sufficient - Water Related Conflicts in Kenya and Uganda (Working Title)

Multiple studies link envionmental changes to resource degradations, scarcity and violent conflict. However, also around water abundant areas people are prone to experience water shortages and therefore turn to conflictual behaviour. The PhD project, therefore, discusses the interplay between climate change, economic upgrading by political elites and low-key conflicts. It focuses on conflictive interests between political elites, investors, and local actors. It seeks out to develop a conflict and actor typology for conflicts arising between local actors linking these to national and international political and economic governance processes and their impacts on the water situation respectively.

Principal Investigator: Julia Renner
Project start:
Region: Kenia, Uganda
Funded by: University of Koblenz-Landau

Climate change and conflict-induced migration in North-East Nigeria and North Cameroon: Impact on Land use, natural resources and social networks

The Lake Chad basin region in general is subject to a crisis mainly caused by the Islamic insurgency, worsened by the fact that this area is prone to severe environmental changes due to its proximity with the Sahel. Growing stress on remaining available resources in the region is identified as one of the critical land-related factors contributing to violence and conflict. Displacements in Northern Nigeria appears to be a result of widespread insecurity, yet the environmental dimension of the phenomenon must be taken into account. Furthermore, researchers argue that conflict has precipitated migration movements, which were also triggered by environmental factors, and would have probably occurred even without the influence of the Islamic insurgency; and that in northern Nigeria, decision to migrate is often linked to visible economic and social elements such as poverty and unemployment. When examining the root causes of migration, environmental factors are often present in the decision to migrate.

This study examines the role that environmental change and violent conflict plays in the decision to migrate in North-east Nigeria, the potential that such migration could lead to new conflict between internally displaced persons and host communities in Maiduguri or in other parts of Nigeria. Concepts of social network analysis are used to understand how displaced persons collaborate with each other from different religious, and cultural background within their respective accommodating structures and with local or host communities. These concepts are equally applied on host communities to apprehend their behaviour towards incoming displaced persons.

Principal Investigator: Frederic Noel Kongoui Kampta
Project start: 04/2018
Region: Nigeria, Cameroon
Funded by: DAAD