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A Theory of Civil Conflict and Democracy in Rentier States

  • Silje Aslaksen
  • Ragnar Torvik

The effects of resource rents on the political equilibrium have been studied in two main types of models. The first tradition uses models of conflict, and studies how resource rents affect the intensity and duration of civil conflict. The second tradition uses political economy models, where resource rents affect the political equilibrium due to changes in the costs and benefits of buying votes. Although they provide considerable insight, these traditions have little to say about when democracy emerges, and about when conflict emerges. In this paper, by integrating the earlier model traditions, we suggest the simplest possible framework we can think of to study the choice between conflict and democracy. We show how factors such as resource rents, the extent of electoral competition, and productivity affect economic and political equilibria. Copyright The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics" 2006 .

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 108 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 571-585

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:108:y:2006:i:4:p:571-585
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