Nathan Black is a political scientist interested in the future relationship between climate change and violent civil conflict.
Nathan earned a B.A. in History from Rice University in 2006, and received a Ph.D. in Political Science from MIT in June 2012. His dissertation research sought to explain why violent civil conflicts in the developing world sometimes spread across borders. While at MIT, Nathan also published a paper on the statistical link between arable land supply shocks—a key expected outcome of climate change—and civil conflict. During the 2011-2012 academic year, he was a Predoctoral Fellow in the International Security Program at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. His research has been funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation and the Tobin Project.
As an Environmental Fellow, Nathan will work with Robert Bates of the Department of Government on the security consequences of climate change in Latin America. Nathan will try to identify best practices for Latin American state governments facing arable land supply shocks of the kind expected as a result of climate change, specifically which responses to these shocks have led to peace in the past, and which have led to violent conflict.