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Natural Resources and Violent Conflict : Options and Actions


  • Ian Bannon
  • Paul Collier


Recent research undertaken by the Bank and others, suggest that developing countries face substantially higher risks of violent conflict, and poor governance if highly dependent on primary commodities. Revenues from the legal, or illegal exploitation of natural resources have financed devastating conflicts in large numbers of countries across regions. When a conflict erupts, it not only sweeps away decades of painstaking development efforts, but creates costs and consequences-economic, social, political, regional-that live on for decades. The outbreak of violent domestic conflict amounts to a spectacular failure of development-in essence, development in reverse. Even where countries initially manage to avoid violent conflict, large rents from natural resources can weaken state structures, and make governments less accountable, often leading to the emergence of secessionist rebellions, and all-out civil war. Although natural resources are never the sole source of conflict, and do not make conflict inevitable, the presence of abundant primary commodities, especially in low-income countries, exacerbates the risks of conflict and, if conflict does break out, tends to prolong it and makes it harder to resolve. As the Governance of Natural Resources Project (a research project) took shape, the discussion moved toward practical approaches and policies that could be adopted by the international community. This book presents the papers commissioned under the Governance of Natural Resources Project, offering a rich array of approaches and suggestions that are feeding into the international policy debate, and hopefully lead, over time to concerted international action, to help developing countries better manage their resource wealth, and turn this wealth into a driver of development rather than of conflict.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Bannon & Paul Collier, 2003. "Natural Resources and Violent Conflict : Options and Actions," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15047, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:15047

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. P. Guillaumont & L. Chauvet, 2001. "Aid and Performance: A Reassessment," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 66-92.
    2. Jean-Louis ARCAND & Patrick GUILLAUMONT & Sylviane GUILLAUMONT JEANNENEY, 2001. "Are Policy Reform and Growth in Africa Sustainable?," Working Papers 200105, CERDI.
    3. Jean-Louis COMBES & Patrick GUILLAUMONT, 2000. "Commodity Price Volatility, Vulnerability and Development," Working Papers 200015, CERDI.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mehrdad Vahabi, 2017. "A critical survey of the resource curse literature through the appropriability lens," CEPN Working Papers 2017-14, Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord.
    2. Addison,Tony & Boly,Amadou & Mveyange,Anthony Francis, 2017. "The impact of mining on spatial inequality recent evidence from Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7960, The World Bank.
    3. Glaeser, Edward L. & Ponzetto, Giacomo A. M. & Shleifer, Andrei, 2016. "Securing Property Rights," Working Paper Series rwp16-040, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    4. Pierre JACQUET & Alexis ATLANI & Marwan LISSER, 2017. "Policy responses to terms of trade shocks," Working Papers P205, FERDI.
    5. Matthias Basedau, 2005. "Context Matters – Rethinking the Resource Curse in Sub-Saharan Africa," GIGA Working Paper Series 01, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    6. Pierre JACQUET & Alexis ATLANI & Marwan LISSER, 2017. "Policy responses to terms of trade shocks," Working Papers P205, FERDI.
    7. Richard INGWE, 2015. "Illegal Oil Bunkering, Violence and Criminal Offences in Nigeria’s Territorial Waters and the Niger Delta Environs: Proposing Extension of Informed Policymaking," Informatica Economica, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 19(1), pages 77-86.
    8. Adedokun, Ayokunu, 2017. "Post-conflict peacebuilding: A critical survey of the literature and avenues for future research," MERIT Working Papers 016, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    9. Katharina Wick & Erwin Bulte, 2006. "Contesting resources – rent seeking, conflict and the natural resource curse," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 457-476, September.
    10. Raúl Sánchez de la Sierra, "undated". "On the Origins of States: Stationary Bandits and Taxation in Eastern Congo," HiCN Working Papers 194, Households in Conflict Network.
    11. Theodore H. Moran, 2013. "Avoiding the "Resource Curse" in Mongolia," Policy Briefs PB13-18, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    12. World Bank, 2005. "Conflict in Somalia : Drivers and Dynamics," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8476, The World Bank.
    13. Matthias Basedau, 2005. "Context Matters – Rethinking the Resource Curse in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic History 0508002, EconWPA.
    14. Ngoasong, Michael Zisuh, 2014. "How international oil and gas companies respond to local content policies in petroleum-producing developing countries: A narrative enquiry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 471-479.
    15. Doraisami, Anita, 2015. "Has Malaysia really escaped the resource curse? A closer look at the political economy of oil revenue management and expenditures," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 98-108.
    16. repec:bla:afrdev:v:29:y:2017:i:s1:p:27-41 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Hamadou Daouda, Youssoufou, 2014. "CSR and Sustainable Development: Multinationals are they Socially Responsible in Sub-Saharan Africa? The case of Areva in Niger," MPRA Paper 73153, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Itchoko Motande Mondjeli Mwa Ndjokou & Pierre Christian Tsopmo, 2017. "The effects on economic growth of natural resources in Sub-Saharan Africa: Does the quality of institutions matters?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 37(1), pages 248-263.
    19. Ansari, Dawud, 2016. "Resource curse contagion in the case of Yemen," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 444-454.
    20. Roy Maconachie & Radhika Srinivasan & Nicholas Menzies, 2015. "Responding to the Challenge of Fragility and Security in West Africa," World Bank Other Operational Studies 22511, The World Bank.
    21. Theodore Ahlers & Hiroshi Kato & Harinder S. Kohli & Callisto Madavo & Anil Sood (ed.), 2014. "Africa 2050: Realizing the Continent's Full Potential," Books, Emerging Markets Forum, edition 1, number africa2050, August.
    22. repec:eee:jrpoli:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Anirban Dasgupta, 2011. "Forum 2011," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 42(1), pages 458-467, January.
    24. Kaznacheev, Peter, 2013. "Resource Rents and Economic Growth: Economic and institutional development in countries with a high share of income from the sale of natural resources. Analysis and recommendations based on internatio," EconStor Research Reports 121950, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    25. Cockx, Lara & Francken, Nathalie, 2014. "Extending the concept of the resource curse: natural resources and public spending on health," IOB Working Papers 2014.01, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).


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