Anthony Rodin is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, OK. His research interests include great power conflict, power transitions and climate change's impact on geopolitics.
Subject Area Keywords
Environment, sustainability and security, Hegemony, International relations, International security, National power, Security studies
Two of the biggest issues in international politics today are climate change and the ongoing power transition between the United States and China. However, very few works examine the way these issues interact with each other. This paper attempts to resolve this by integrating climate change into power transition theory (PTT), which attempts to capture the behavior of states in the midst of transition to or from global power. This paper first analyzes the literatures on the (tenuous) links between environmental degradation and interstate conflict as well as PTT. Opportunities for integration are then examined, especially focusing on climate change's impact on the central variables of power and state satisfaction. These theoretical links are then applied to the looming US-Sino transition and highlight how climate change opens up new arenas of great power competition, exacerbates tensions and impacts relative power in unpredictable ways.
The author would like to thank Dr. Keith Shimko for his feedback on this article.
Rodin, Anthony. "Rising Temperatures, Rising Tensions: Climate Change and Power Transition Theory." Journal of Strategic Security 15, no. 2 (2022)
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/jss/vol15/iss2/5