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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. 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.
    2. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler & Dominic Rohner, 2009. "Beyond greed and grievance: feasibility and civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 1-27, January.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2010. "Persistence of Civil Wars," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(2-3), pages 664-676, 04-05.
    4. Keefer, Philip, 2007. "Insurgency and credible commitment in autocracies and democracies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4185, The World Bank.
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