Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

African range wars: Climate, conflict, and property rights

Contents:

Author Info

  • Christopher K Butler

    ()
    (University of New Mexico & Centre for the Study of Civil War, PRIO)

  • Scott Gates

    (Centre for the Study of Civil War, PRIO & Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU))

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This article examines the effect of climate change on a type of armed conflict that pits pastoralists (cattle herders) against each other (range wars). Such conflicts are typically fought over water rights and/or grazing rights to unfenced/unowned land. The state is rarely involved directly. The rangeland of East Africa is a region particularly vulnerable to drought and livestock diseases associated with climate change. To analyze the possible effects of climate change on pastoral conflict, we focus our analysis on changes in resource availability, contrasting cases of abundance and scarcity. The role of resources is further contextualized by competing notions of property rights, and the role of the state in defining property and associated rights. We employ a contest success function (CSF) game-theoretic model to analyze the logic of range wars. This CSF approach emphasizes the low-level, non-binary nature of raiding behavior between pastoralist groups over limited natural resources. A central contribution of this approach is that the logic of raiding behavior implies a positive relationship between resources and conflict. This positive relationship is supported by several studies of the rangeland of East Africa, but is generally dismissed by the literature on the ‘resource curse’. This relationship is contingent on other factors examined in the model, producing the following results. First, the level of property rights protection provided by the state generally reduces conflict between pastoralist groups. Second, if property rights protection is provided in a biased manner, then conflict between pastoralist groups increases. Third, severe resource asymmetries between two pastoralist groups will induce the poorer group to become bandits (focusing their efforts on raiding and not producing), while the richer group raids in retaliation.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://jpr.sagepub.com/content/49/1/23.abstract
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Peace Research Institute Oslo in its journal Journal of Peace Research.

    Volume (Year): 49 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 23-34

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:49:y:2012:i:1:p:23-34

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.prio.no/

    Related research

    Keywords: climate change and security; communal violence; game theory; non-state actor violence; property rights; resources and conflict;

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Ole Theisen & Nils Gleditsch & Halvard Buhaug, 2013. "Is climate change a driver of armed conflict?," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 613-625, April.
    2. Exenberger Andreas & Pondorfer Andreas, 2013. "Climate Change and the Risk of Mass Violence: Africa in the 21st Century," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(3), pages 381-392, December.
    3. Erik O Kimbrough & Roman M Sheremeta, 2014. "Why can’t we be friends? Entitlements and the costs of conflict," Working Papers 14-01, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    4. Klomp, Jeroen & Bulte, Erwin H., 2012. "Climate Change, Weather Shocks and Violent Conflict: A Critical Look at the Evidence," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 125861, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Hassani Mahmooei, Behrooz & Parris, Brett, 2012. "Why might climate change not cause conflict? an agent-based computational response," MPRA Paper 44918, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:49:y:2012:i:1:p:23-34. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.