Oil and Diamonds as Causes of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa: Under What Conditions?

Oil and Diamonds as Causes of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa: Under What Conditions?

Source: Colombia Internacional, 2009

Author(s): Tim Wegenast and Matthias Basedau

Topics: Conflict Causes, Extractive Resources, Governance

Added: 20/04/2017

 

Recent research has increasingly questioned the link between natural resources and violent conflict while stressing the importance of resource-specific context conditions under which internal conflicts become more likely. This paper engages in a systematic analysis of six of these resource-specific conditions comparing 15 African oil and diamond producing countries. Employing a Boolean logic, the results of our analysis indicate that, typically, a conflict-ridden diamond or oil producer is highly dependent on resources, its revenues are hardly spent on distributional policies and the security apparatus and, moreover, it suffers from intercommunal problems in the producing regions. Little income from resources per capita and substantial production of lootable resources in peripheral regions seem to constitute necessary conditions for civil war. Thus, our findings imply that future theoretical models and empirical strategies should integrate the full set of (resource specific) context conditions. Efforts to raise a more integrative approach combining quantitative and qualitative research designs seem particularly promising.

 

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