The relationship between natural resources and armed conflict onset:"It's complicated". A quantitative analysis of how natural resources affect internal armed conflict onset during the period 1950-2003
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The thesis examines how natural resources affect internal armed conflict onset through a quantitative analysis of data on 167 countries covering the period 1950-2003. Previous research on the relationship between natural resources and armed conflict has often not focused thoroughly on explanations. This thesis seeks to rectify this by focusing on classifying natural resources, and by focusing on the purported mechanisms that are argued to link natural resources and armed conflict onset, namely those focusing on the state, and those focusing on rebels and their motivations and opportunities. This is done through a random-effects panel data model, as well as a novel hybrid approach" combining some of the previously aspects of the previous dominant fixed -and random effects models. The thesis' central findings are that classifying natural resources is vital in understanding how they affect armed conflict onset. Among the included natural resource measures, oil, drugs and diamonds, drugs and diamonds are in part found to affect armed conflict onset. Furthermore, the thesis gives support to the notion of natural resources mainly affecting armed conflict onset through their effect on the state and its institutions. The thesis implies that research on natural resources and internal armed conflict onset, as well as policies directed at hindering armed conflict onset, perhaps should focus more on state institutions than have previously been the case.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
SubjectNatural resources; internal armed conflict; mechanisms; resource curse; Multilevel analysis; state capacity; resource classification
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