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A theory of regional conflict complexes

Author

Listed:
  • Arthur Silve

    (ULaval - Université Laval [Québec])

  • Thierry Verdier

    (CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

Abstract

Civil conflicts spill over into neighboring countries. This paper proposes a theory of the contagion of civil wars. Weak territorial control facilitates the emergence of a regional market for war inputs in the "porous frontier." The contagion effect is nonlinear and creates multiple equilibrium situations of regional complexes of civil conflicts. This helps explain the observed patterns of regional clustering of conflict and institutional quality, and raises identification issues in the measurement of the contagion effect. We also derive a positive spillover of civil wars: governments are sometimes in a position to avoid contagion by improving their institutions. Finally, we explore the policy implications for military intervention, and military and institutional cooperation.

Suggested Citation

  • Arthur Silve & Thierry Verdier, 2018. "A theory of regional conflict complexes," Post-Print halshs-01887066, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-01887066
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2018.03.002
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01887066
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Civil war; Contagion; Porous frontier Institutions Military intervention Institutional cooperation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

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