The objective of the doctoral project is to analyze the role of economic development and renewable environmental resources in the causation and escalation of armed intrastate conflicts. The case studies are selected on the basis of quantitative research on causes of conflict. The quantitative work included variables covering economic, distributional, demographic, environmental and political conditions. On the basis of the results from the statistics three low-income countries and three lower middle-income countries were chosen. All countries have high soil erosion. Both conflict countries and peaceful countries are included among the case studies and the conflict countries represent different degrees of conflict escalation.
In the project, various theories about the implications of environmental change and economic development for violent conflicts are discussed. The theories and models of Rapkin and Avery and Günther Bächler are central. It is however assumed that conflicts are multicausal. This means that also other conflict determinants than the purely environmental and economic are discussed.
Causes are analyzed and discussed applying David Dessler’s analytical scheme. Dessler categorizes causes according to their causal roles - channels, targets, triggers and catalysts - in an interactive causal system.