Forest Resources and Conflict: How Forest Resources Influence Internal Armed Conflicts
Rustad, Siri Aas (2005) Forest Resources and Conflict: How Forest Resources Influence Internal Armed Conflicts. MA thesis, Department of Sociology and Political Science, NTNU, Oslo & Trondheim.
In the last decade the debate on the resource curse and the role of natural resources have heated up. Collier & Hoeffler (2004) were among the first to do a thorough quantitative study of this relationship. However, their measurement of natural resources as the primary commodity export to GDP have been critized by several scholars for not capturing the uniqueness of each natural resource. Forest resources are unique compared other soc called conflict resources, because they can be linked to conflict in several ways.
There have been done several case studies of how forest resources play a role in conflicts. However, there has never been conducted a thorough quantitative study of this, to test if there is a general pattern as well. In my thesis I have tried to do this. I have tested four sets four hypotheses: (i) abundance of forest increases the risk of conflict, (ii) forest resources serve as a financial mean for rebel groups, (iii) closed forest can serve as a safe haven for rebels and (iv) degradation and exploitation of the forest lead to grievance, which further can lead to conflict.