Population, Resources and Violent Conflict: A Sub-National Study of India 1956–2002

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Urdal, Henrik (2008) Population, Resources and Violent Conflict: A Sub-National Study of India 1956–2002 , Journal of Conflict Resolution 52(4): 590–617.

Recent cross-national studies have found only moderate support for the idea that population pressure and resource scarcity may lead to political violence, contrary to much of the case study literature in the field. This article suggests that the level of analysis may be at the heart of this discrepancy. In a time-series study of political violence in 27 Indian states for the 1956–2002 period, it is tested whether high population pressure on renewable natural resources, youth bulges, and differential growth rates between religious groups are associated with higher levels of armed conflict, political violent events, and Hindu-Muslim riots. The results are generally more supportive of the resource scarcity and conflict scenario than recent global studies. The article further suggests that youth bulges affect all three forms of violence and that differential growth rates are positively related to armed conflict.

Authors

Henrik Urdal

Henrik Urdal

Research Professor; Editor, Journal of Peace Research