Alex Alvarez

Ohio Wesleyan to Host Expert March 30 to Discuss ‘Genocidal Risk in an Era of Climate Change’

By Cole Hatcher

Alex Alvarez, Ph.D.

DELAWARE, Ohio – Author and criminology professor Alex Alvarez, Ph.D., will discuss climate change and how it could result in war and genocide when he presents Ohio Wesleyan University’s 2021 Robert Kragalott Lecture on Genocide, Mass Atrocity, and Human Rights.

Alvarez will discuss “Nations and Nationalism in a Warming World: Genocidal Risk in an Era of Climate Change” at 7 p.m. March 30 via Zoom. To access the free, online presentation, visit owu.edu/2021Kragalott.

“Climate change is increasingly impacting communities and nations around the world and challenging our ability to cope and adapt to new environmental realities,” said Alvarez, the President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow and a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Northern Arizona University.

“It also poses some very real hazards for the development of violent conflict,” Alvarez said. “The focus of this presentation is on exploring some of the implications of climate change for facilitating war and genocide and tracing the ways in which climate-induced stresses will contribute to the development of exclusionary forms of nationalism as conflict over resources, borders, and displaced populations become more prevalent.”

Alvarez’s 2017 book, “Unstable Ground: Climate Change, Conflict, and Genocide,” explores issues including record heat, drought, access to natural resources, and their impact, and provides a foundation for his OWU presentation. According to Publishers Weekly, “Alvarez’s thoughtful and precise work highlights some deeply troubling but underdiscussed aspects of climate change.”

His other books include “Governments, Citizens, and Genocide,” “Murder American Style,” “Violence: The Enduring Problem,” “Genocidal Crimes,” and “Native America and the Question of Genocide.” He also has served as an editor for the journal Violence and Victims, was a founding co-editor of the journal Genocide Studies and Prevention, and is an editor for Genocide Studies International.

In addition to Ohio Wesleyan, Alvarez has presented his research across the United States and in countries including Austria, Bosnia, Canada, England, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

He earned his Master of Arts and doctoral degrees in Sociology at the University of New Hampshire. Alvarez joined Northern Arizona University in 2002, and previously served as the founding director of the Martin-Springer Institute for Teaching the Holocaust, Tolerance, and Humanitarian Values as well as the Ida E. King Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton University.

Ohio Wesleyan’s Kragalott Lecture honors the career, contributions, and memory of Robert Kragalott, Ph.D., a professor in the OWU Department of History from 1964 to 1991. The lecture series was endowed with a gift from 1969 OWU graduate Carroll P. “Pete” Kakel III, Ph.D. Learn more at owu.edu/history.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 25 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at owu.edu.