Colin Walch

Colin Walch's picture


Personal Statement: 

I am a researcher and practitioner focusing on issues of (1) resilience in conflict and post-conflict countries, (2) climate change and armed conflict (3) disaster and conflict prevention (4) environmental and humanitarian negotiations.I have conducted extensive field work in conflict zones and post-disaster crises in Mali, the Philippines, Myanmar, India, Liberia, Colombia, Sri Lanka and Guatemala. I have worked, interviewed and negotiated with a range of stakeholders, including humanitarian and development specialists, government officials, military staff, local communities and rebel group combatants. This first-hand experience working with a diverse number of local, national, and international actors has allowed me to build an extensive network of readily accessible experts and stakeholders that complement my own expertise.I lecture at UC Berkeley, Uppsala University, and the University of the Philippines on International Humanitarian Law, International Negotiations, Disaster Risk Reduction and Conflict Analysis. I am an associated researcher at Centre for Natural Hazards and Disaster Science in Uppsala, Sweden. 

Peer-reviewed articles

  • Walch, C. (2018) Adaptive governance in the developing world: Disaster Risk Reduction in the State of Odisha, India. Forthcoming in Climate and Development.
  • Walch, C. (2018) Weakened by the storm: Rebel group recruitment in the wake of natural disasters in the Philippines, Forthcoming in Journal of Peace Research.
  • Walch, C. (2018) Typhoon Haiyan: Pushing the Limits of Resilience? The effect of land inequality on resilience and disaster risk reduction policies in the Philippines, Forthcoming in Critical Asian Studies
  • Walch, C. (2016) Rethinking Ripeness theory: Explaining Progress and Failure in Civil War Negotiations in the Philippines and Colombia, International Negotiation, 21(19):75-103.
  • Walch, C. (2015) Expertise and policy making in disaster risk reduction, Nature Climate Change, June 2015.
  • Walch, C. (2014) Collaboration or Obstruction? Rebel group behavior during natural disaster relief in the Philippines, Political Geography, 43, pp. 40-50.

Policy papers and news articles

  • Walch, C. and Stein, S.(2017) The Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction as a conflict prevention tool. Social Science Research Council Paper.
  • Walch, C. (2017) "Fertile grounds? Climate change and Jihadism in Mali" NewSecurityBeat - Wilson Center. Republished in TheBroker.
  • Walch, C. and Stein, S.(2017) "Non-conventional violence in the Central America and Mexico: The case for an integrated humanitarian and development approach" Humanitarian Exchange Magazine - Humanitarian Practice Network forn ODI.
  • Walch, C. (2016) "Syria's war and the (overstated) role of climate change"
  • Walch, C. (2014) “Disaster risk reduction and local ownership: The effect of political competition, patronage and armed conflict on the local ownership of disaster risk reduction in the Philippines” Input paper prepared for the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015.
  • Walch, C. (2013) “Typhoon Haiyan: natural disaster meets armed conflict”, OpenDemocracy, 26 November 2013.
  • Walch, C. (2012) “Peace in Colombia? A regional perspective on a regional Problem”, New routes, 17 (4) pp.10-12.
  • Walch, C. (2010) “Climate change, Disaster risk reduction and Peace-building: Analysing the linkages and offering suggestions”. Research report for CARE Netherlands.


  • Walch (2018) "Natural disasters and armed conflict" in Matthew, R., (dir.) Forthcoming in Routledge Handbook of Environmental Security
  • Walch, C (2017) "From curse to blessing: How natural resources affect peace and conflict in the Philippines" in Swain, A, (dir.) Routlegde of Environmental Conflict and Peacebuiling
  • Walch, C (2016) Conflict in the eye of the storm: Micro-dymamics of natura disasters, cooperation and armed conflict. PhD dissertation, Uppsala University Press. 

Previous experience

  • Research fellow (Centre for Natural Hazards and Disaster Science), Sweden, 2011-2016
  • Junior Advisor (disaster risk reduction and peacebuilding) CARE USA in Liberia, 2010.
  • Field Observer. Mission de Apoyo al Processo de Paz- Organization of American Sate (OAS), Colombia 2011.
  • Programme Assistant, Norwegian Refugee Council, Belgium, 2011.
  • Consultant (various) 2012-present.


PhD (Department of Peace and Conflict Research - Uppsala University)