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Natural resources, weak states and civil war : can rents stabilize coup prone regimes ?

  • Bodea, Cristina
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    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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    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6071.

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    Date of creation: 01 May 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6071
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    1. Edward N. Muller & Erich Weede, 1990. "Cross-National Variation in Political Violence," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 34(4), pages 624-651, December.
    2. James D. Fearon, 2005. "Primary Commodity Exports and Civil War," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(4), pages 483-507, August.
    3. Nils Petter Gleditsch & Peter Wallensteen & Mikael Eriksson & Margareta Sollenberg & Hã…Vard Strand, 2002. "Armed Conflict 1946-2001: A New Dataset," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 39(5), pages 615-637, September.
    4. Nicholas Sambanis, 2001. "Do Ethnic and Nonethnic Civil Wars Have the Same Causes?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 45(3), pages 259-282, June.
    5. Jeremy M. Weinstein, 2005. "Resources and the Information Problem in Rebel Recruitment," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(4), pages 598-624, August.
    6. Marta Reynal-Querol, 2002. "Ethnicity, Political Systems, and Civil Wars," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 46(1), pages 29-54, February.
    7. Acemoglu, Daron & Ticchi, Davide & Vindigni, Andrea, 2009. "Persistence of civil wars," POLIS Working Papers 130, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
    8. Philip Keefer, 2008. "Insurgency and Credible Commitment in Autocracies and Democracies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(1), pages 33-61, January.
    9. Paivi Lujala, 2010. "The spoils of nature: Armed civil conflict and rebel access to natural resources," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(1), pages 15-28, January.
    10. Matthias Basedau & Jann Lay, 2009. "Resource Curse or Rentier Peace? The Ambiguous Effects of Oil Wealth and Oil Dependence on Violent Conflict," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 46(6), pages 757-776, November.
    11. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler & Dominic Rohner, 2006. "Beyond Greed and Grievance: Feasibility and Civil War," CSAE Working Paper Series 2006-10, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    12. Macartan Humphreys, 2005. "Natural Resources, Conflict, and Conflict Resolution," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(4), pages 508-537, August.
    13. Päivi Lujala & Nils Petter Gleditsch & Elisabeth Gilmore, 2005. "A Diamond Curse?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(4), pages 538-562, August.
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