Natural resources, weak states and civil war : can rents stabilize coup prone regimes ?
This paper argues that state weakness is broader than implied previously in the civil war literature, and that particular types of weakness in interaction with natural resources have aggravating or mitigating consequences for the risk of civil war. While in anocracies or unstable regimes natural resources can be expected to increase the risk of civil war, we suggest that resource wealth allows weak leaders to stabilize their relationship with their inner elite circle. In particular, for regimes at risk of coup d'etat, the availability of substantial resources is more likely to be channeled in ways that deter rebellion, plausibly countering the grievances generated by natural resources and rebels'viewing of such resources as a prize for taking over the state. Data from 1946-2003 and multiple empirical operationalizations broadly support our argument. These findings are consistent with work showing that resource rents can induce stability in state - society relationships.
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