Leave none to claim the land
AbstractMore than 200 years after its first publication, the Malthusian thesis is still much debated, albeit in a modified form. Rather than predicting a global catastrophe, most neo-Malthusians stress the local character of the relationship between population pressure, natural resource scarcity, and conflict as well as its dependency on the socio-political and economic context. This softened version of Malthusâ€™s thesis has received little empirical support in cross-country studies. In contrast, a number of subnational analyses have provided some evidence for local conditional Malthusian catastrophes, although â€˜catastropheâ€™ is a big word since these studies have largely focused on low-intensity violence. This article adds to the small body of subnational studies, but focuses on a high-intensity conflict â€“ the Rwandan genocide. In particular, it provides a meso-level analysis of the relation between population pressure and the intensity of violence measured by the death toll among the Tutsi across 1,294 small administrative units. The results indicate that the death toll was significantly higher in localities with both high population density and little opportunity for young men to acquire land. This finding can be interpreted as support for the neo-Malthusian thesis. On the other hand, it is possible that another mechanism operated â€“ in densely populated areas, it may have been relatively easy for the elite to mobilize the population, because of dependency relations through the land and labor market. Alternatively, in densely populated areas, there may have been more lootable assets, and the violence may have been opportunistic rather than driven by need or by fear.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Peace Research Institute Oslo in its journal Journal of Peace Research.
Volume (Year): 49 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.prio.no/
genocide; land scarcity; neo-Malthusianism; population; Rwanda;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.