NERPS Publication: The literature landscape on peace–sustainability nexus

The literature landscape on peace–sustainability nexus: A scientometric analysis


Ayyoob Sharifi, Dahlia Simangan, and Shinji Kaneko

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Abstract:Academics, policymakers, and practitioners have long considered peace and sustainability to be fundamentally linked. However, despite the increased attention paid toward the intersection of peace and sustainability, there is still limited knowledge on the nature of their linkages. To advance the current understanding on the peace–sustainability nexus and inform an integrated research agenda, this paper employs a scientometric analysis of literature to identify publication trends, thematic clusters, and knowledge gaps. Analyzing the publications according to the types of peace, the pillars of positive peace, the dimensions of sustainability, and the SDGs further reveals weak engagement among academic disciplines and across the SDGs. The results of this analysis emphasize the need for future research to focus on underexamined subjects, geographic regions, and sectors to bolster the linkages between peace and sustainability.

NERPS Publication: Three decades of research on climate change and peace

Three decades of research on climate change and peace: a bibliometrics analysis

Sustainability Science

Special Feature: Review Article (The Sustainability-Peace Nexus in the Context of Global Change)

Ayyoob Sharifi, Dahlia Simangan, and Shinji Kaneko

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Abstract: Over the past 3 decades, a vast body of research has been published on the interactions between climate change and events that undermine negative peace. Consequently, several review papers have been published in the last few years on this nexus. However, there is still a lack of a comprehensive bibliometrics analysis of the field. Accordingly, the main aim of this study is to fill this gap to advance our understanding of the existing literature. For this purpose, we analyzed 1337 articles indexed in the Web of Science using VOSviewer and SciMAT that are two commonly used software tools for science mapping and bibliometrics analysis. The SciMAT tool was also used to examine thematic evolution of the nexus over three consecutive sub-periods (i.e., 1990–2007, 2008–2014, and 2015–2020). Results show that research on this nexus has grown steadily since 1990, but the trends have rapidly increased after the publication of the IPCC assessment report in 2007. Four major thematic focus areas were identified, namely, (1) war and violent conflict, (2) political tensions and institutional mechanisms to deal with conflicts, (3) disasters and other climatic impacts that may lead to massive human displacements, and (4) conflicts/cooperation related to water resources. Results of the SciMAT analysis confirm and add weight to these findings. They also show that, over time, issues related to environmental security have gained more attention. An important finding is that the focus has mainly been on war and violent conflicts and other events are not well addressed. The article concludes with some recommendations for future research.

Call for Applications: Open positions for cross-appointed research fellows

NERPS has secured a multi-year funding from 2020 to 2021 to support research and the establishment of new research clusters at Hiroshima University on the nexus of sustainability and peace in the context of global environmental change, including the post COVID-19 era.

We invited applications from academic researchers by July 31, 2020 that propose 2-year research projects, addressing one or a combination of the following thematic research areas.* Funding for the second year is subject to successful completion and performance during the first year. The intent is to award successful applicants no later than August 31, 2020, and the cross-appointment period will begin on October 1, 2020. Download the call for details.

1. Resources in the context of the nexus (land, water, food, energy, fisheries, minerals, oil and gas, etc.), both domestic and transboundary types
2. Digital technologies in the context of the nexus in an increasingly digital world (AI, Big Data, ICT, digital divide)
3. Migration in the context of the nexus (environmental/climate/ disaster/ conflicts, etc.)
4. Governance and institutions, and justice in the context of the nexus (local, national and international systems)

*Education would be an overarching topic of interest across the themes.

Hiroshima University’s Publications related to the SDGs, 2016-2018

NERPS Student Fellow, Wu Xuan, conducted a statistical analysis of Hiroshima University’s research papers related to the SDGs published from 2016 to 2018. She reviewed a total of 6,144 papers and identified Goal 3 (Good health and well-being), followed by Goal 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure) and Goal 15 (Life of land), as the most relevant SDGs to Hiroshima University’s research publications. Read the full report here.




NERPS Activity Report 2018-2019

We are pleased to share the latest NERPS activity report, which highlights our events and activities from 2018 to 2019 and features the ongoing research at Hiroshima University. Download the full report here.

NERPS Activity Report 2018-2019


Hiroshima University regards contributions to SDGs as the top priority across the university. We intend to make further contributions to research, educational, and social aspects by achieving synergies between comprehensive university reforms and university-wide efforts to achieve the SDGs. We hope that this report provides you with a better understanding of the SDGs initiatives of this university, and we look forward to your continued guidance and support in the future. – Mitsuo Ochi (President, Hiroshima University)

NERPS aims to become an educational center with three characteristics. The first is to become a research center focused on peace backed by internationally viable research capabilities. The second is to become an educational research center where researchers and experts from the humanities and social science fields play an active role (participating in problem solving). The third is to become an educational and research hub that involves the participation of a wide variety of actors, including individuals, NGOs, private companies, governments and administrative agencies, and international organizations. We hope that this report will inform you of NERPS efforts, and that as many people as possible will participate in it. – Shinji Kaneko (Director, NERPS)

Hiroshima University’s Network for Education and Research on Peace and Sustainability (NERPS) is an internationally unique research center that integrates research on global and social sustainability and peace and seeks solutions with social stakeholders. This is an area where Japan and Hiroshima can and should contribute to the world through leadership. Based on the accumulated intra-university, domestic, and international discussions thus far, I believe that it is now time for us to make significant progress. Future Earth strongly supports NERPS through national and international networks. – Fumiko Kasuga (Future Earth Japan Global Hub Director)

Hiroshima University’s assistance in building NERPS is of global historical consequence. The peace-sustainability nexus is simultaneously the most important and the least understood. It represents highly complex interactions among social, economic, political and earth systems and climate variables. The nexus is also hugely consequential because of loss of life and ecological assets resulting from conflicts. Given the ongoing conflicts that affect many parts of our world, the numerous post-conflict societies seeking to become sustainable, and the anticipated conflicts due to climate change displacements, much greater research and educational attention needs to be paid to. NERPS brings together scholars, decision makers, stakeholders, and activists, to inspire transdisciplinary, solutions-oriented, co-creation of knowledge for real-world challenges. –Paul Shrivastava (Professor and Director of the Sustainability Institute, Pennsylvania State University