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Inclusive Institutions and the Onset of Internal Conflict in Resource-rich Countries

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  • Tim Wegenast

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    (GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies)

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    Abstract

    The literature on institutional determinants of intra-state violence commonly asserts that the presence of multiple political parties reduces the conflict potential within countries; by co-opting oppositional groups into an institutionalized political arena, dissidents would prefer parliamentarian means over violent rebellion in order to pursue their goals. The present paper shows that this proposition does not necessarily hold for fuel-abundant states. In the presence of natural resources such as oil or gas, countries exhibiting numerous non-competitive parties are actually more susceptible to internal conflict. Fortified by the establishment of legal political parties, regime opponents succumb more easily to the prospects of securing resource revenues, adopting rapacious behaviour. Fuel-related internal grievances as well as the opposition’s disaffection over the lack of effective political leverage and government use of political violence provide a seemingly legitimate motive for armed rebellion. Moreover, financial means for insurgency are raised by extortion or the possibility of selling future exploitation rights to natural resources. Logit models using different estimation techniques and alternative operationalizations corroborate the proposed claim. The argumentation is further illustrated by a depiction of the Colombian case.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies in its series GIGA Working Paper Series with number 126.

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    Length: 36 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:126

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    Keywords: intra-state conflict; natural resources; political parties; democracy; Colombia;

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    1. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2000. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2355, The World Bank.
    2. Eleonora Nillesen & Philip Verwimp, 2009. "Rebel Recruitment in a Coffee Exporting Economy," Research Working Papers 11, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
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    5. Beck, T.H.L. & Clarke, G. & Groff, A. & Keefer , P. & Walsh, P., 2001. "New tools in comparative political economy: The database of political institutions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517, Tilburg University.
    6. Jennifer Gandhi & Adam Przeworski, 2006. "Cooperation, Cooptation, And Rebellion Under Dictatorships," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 1-26, 03.
    7. repec:chm:wpaper:wp200x-x is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ivar Kolstad, 2009. "The resource curse: which institutions matter?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 439-442.
    9. Lewis, Peter M., 1994. "Economic statism, private capital, and the dilemmas of accumulation in Nigeria," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 437-451, March.
    10. Philip Keefer, 2008. "Insurgency and Credible Commitment in Autocracies and Democracies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(1), pages 33-61, January.
    11. Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Does democracy preempt civil wars?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 445-465, June.
    12. Olsson, Ola, 2007. "Conflict diamonds," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 267-286, March.
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