Congo: The Prize of Predation
The article analyzes the war against Mobutu (1996-97) and the more recent war (1998-) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with particular attention to greed and grievance as motivating factors in these two wars. Whereas our usage of the term ‘greed’ simply reflects the desire to gain control of natural resource rents, we model ‘grievance’ as deliberate institutional differences, implemented by the ruler, between the formal and informal sectors. On the basis of quantitative and qualitative evidence, we outline a model of a predatory conflict between a kleptocratic ruler and a group of potential predators within a given region. The potential predators choose between peaceful production and predation on the ruling elite, who control the country’s natural resource rents. It is shown that institutional grievance between the formal and informal sectors, along with the relative strength of the ruler's defense, play a key role for the initiation of a war. This observation is used to explain the timing of the two wars analyzed in this article. The model also shows that once a war has commenced, the abundance of natural resources and the ruler’s kleptocratic tendencies determine conflict intensity. This result is also well in line with experience from the most recent Congolese war.
|Date of creation:||16 May 2003|
|Date of revision:||30 Oct 2003|
|Publication status:||Published in Journal of Peace Research, 2004, pages 321-336.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Olsson, Ola, 2003.
Working Papers in Economics
86, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 30 Nov 2003.
- Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2000.
"Greed and grievance in civil war,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2355, The World Bank.
- Skaperdas, S., 2000.
00-01-20, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
- Saideman, Stephen M., 1997. "Explaining the International Relations of Secessionist Conflicts: Vulnerability Versus Ethnic Ties," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(04), pages 721-753, September.
- Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-88, December.
- Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
- Grossman, Herschel I, 1999. "Kleptocracy and Revolutions," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 267-83, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0097. See general 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: (Marie Andersson)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.