Press Release

‘Genocidal Risk in an Era of Climate Change’

March 9, 2020 – by Cole Hatcher

Author, Professor Alex Alvarez, Ph.D., to Speak March 26 at Ohio Wesleyan

Note: This event has been canceled due to ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) developments. For more information, visit our COVID-19 (coronavirus) Information page.

Alex Alvarez, Ph.D.

DELAWARE, Ohio – Professor and author Alex Alvarez, Ph.D., will discuss the effects of climate change and how these changes can lead to the rise of war and genocide when he speaks March 26 at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Alvarez will present “Nations and Nationalism in a Warming World: Genocidal Risk in an Era of Climate Change” at 7 p.m. March 26 in Benes Room B of OWU’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware. His free, public presentation represents Ohio Wesleyan’s 2020 Robert Kragalott Lecture on Genocide, Mass Atrocity, and Human Rights.

“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, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Northern Arizona University.

“It also poses some very real hazards for the development of violent conflict,” he 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 latest 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’s review of the book, “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 has also 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 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. Learn more at www.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 www.owu.edu.