This article empirically examines how natural resources affect the severity of armed civil conflict. It finds that drug cultivation in the conflict area is associated with less severe conflicts but that gemstone mining and oil and gas in the conflict zone production increase the severity of conflicts. Most severe are secessionist conflicts in regions with hydrocarbon production. Interestingly, oil and gas production outside the conflict zones is related to less severe conflicts. Measured at the country level, none of the resource variables has an effect on conflict severity. These results have four implications. First, availability of natural resources affects the severity of armed civil conflict. Second, the location of resources is crucial to their impact on conflict. Third, the type of resource matters. Above all, it seems that natural resources affect conflict severity by altering incentives for both the rebel group and the state.
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