Natural Resources and Armed Civil Conflict

Led by Päivi Lujala
Jan 2003 - May 2011

PhD Project, 2003–09 – Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology and CSCW.

This doctoral roject examines how the type and endowment of natural resources affect the risk and duration of internal conflict. For the moment there are no clear guidelines for a precise assessment of how the economic incentives and opportunities for violent conflict and rent seeking differ for various natural resources. Moreover, conflicts and resources are unevenly distributed geographically, and rebel groups can only finance warfare from natural resources if they are able to gain access to them. Statistical research on conflict risk, type and duration has been impeded by inadequate disaggregation of natural resources to different types and the lack of spatial data on resource location. This project aims to identify natural resources types relevant to conflict research, collect spatial data on their distribution and analyze how different resource types affect the risk and duration. In particular, it will produce new datasets on the worldwide location of diamond and gemstone deposits, petroleum reserves and drug cultivation.


Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Lujala, Päivi (2009) Deadly Combat over Natural Resources , Journal of Conflict Resolution 53(1): 50–71.


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