The resource curse

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The resource curse

The resource curse

Lecture at HEI, 17 April 2007

Course E 586 Resource and Environmental Conflict

Nils Petter Gleditsch



Centre for the Study of Civil War (CSCW at

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO)

& Department of Sociology and Political Science,

Norwegian University of Science and Technology


The resource curse

Environmental factors in conflict: Five views





Neomalthusianism: Resource scarcity leads to conflict



Political ecology: It's the distribution of resources!



Cornucopianism: There is no inherent resource scarcity



Institutionalism: Cooperation can overcome scarcity



Resource curse: Resource abundance is the problem

The resource curse

Effects of abundant resources





On economic growth



On institutions



On conflicts

The resource curse

Economic effect: slow growth



Source: Sachs & Warner (2001: 829)

The resource curse

Why resource
-
abundant countries grow slowly


Dutch disease, crowding out


of industry


of education


Insufficient investment


Rent
-
seeking


Corruption, lower institutional quality


State
-
owned industries


Social instability

Sources: Sachs & Warner (2001),Mehlum, Moene (2006a,b), and others

The resource curse

Two perspectives on institutions

Poor (rent
-
grabber
-
friendly) institutions divert scarce entrepeneurial
resources out of production and intro unproductive activities

Good (producer
-
friendly) institutions direct resources into production

Sources: Sachs & Warner (2001),Mehlum, Moene (2006a,b), and others

Resource abundance


poor institutions


slow growth

Resource
abundance

poor institutions

}



s
low growth

The resource curse

Testing the institutional perspective

Sources: Mehlum, Moene (2006b: 2)

Resource
-
rich growth losers: Nigeria, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Angola, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela

Resource
-
rich growth winners: Botswana, Canada, Australia, and Norway

The resource curse

A mild resource curse

Source: Listhaug (2005)

Norway frequently mentioned as a case of competent
handling of oil wealth (pension fund)

Oil income strengthens citizen expectations of benefits

This is reinforced by the strong role of the public sector

Analysis of attitudes: disapproval of management of the oil
revenue


weaker trust in politicians

Basic belief in democracy not significantly affected

But political stability may be lower

The resource curse

The resource curse and conflict



Collier & Hoeffler (1998, 2004)

The World Bank (2003)

Fearon (2005)
-

critique

Le Billon (2000, 2001a,b)

de Soysa (2002)

Ross (2004a, 2004b)

Rustad et al. (2006, 2007)


forests

etc.

The resource curse

A general model of civil war



P(civil war) = f(Motive * Opportunity * Identity)


-

cf. Gurr (1970),
Ellingsen

(2000), Starr (1978)


Neomalthusianism


A motive theory of civil war


Cornucopianism:

1. There is no motive




2. The motive doesn’t justify war


Resource curse: (Mostly) an opportunity theory


The resource curse

The Resource Curse

Motivation

To gain control of natural resource rents through conflict, acquiring
control by force, or securing resources by secession


Opportunity

Provide the means of finance for the rebels or the government
through natural resource rents


Identity

Reinforce a separate identity as a means of strengthening the
legitimacy of a claim to control of natural resource rents

Source: Lujala (various articles)

The resource curse

The Collier & Hoeffler model

Influential

articles

(
1998
,

2004
)

Served

as

the

model

for

World

Bank

(
2003
)

Very

widely

cited

in

policy

circles

Accepts

in

general

that

motive

and

opportunity

are

needed

However,

finds

more

support

for

the

opportunity

model

than

the

grievance

(motive)

model

Most

grievance

factors

drop

out

in

the

combined

model

Key

opportunity

variable
:

primary

commodity

exports/GDP

The resource curse

Natural resources and civil war

The resource curse

Fearon’s critique of Collier & Hoeffler

The

relationship

between

primary

commodity

exports

and

civil

war

is

neither

strong

nor

robust


disappears

when

going

to

a

country
-
year

format


five
-
year

periods

too

coarse

for

the

conflict

variable


and

leads

to

excessive

missing

data

problems

What

there

is,

is

due

to

oil

exports

(rather

than

cash

crops)


measure

includes

food,

beverages,

textiles,

some

metals

Mechanism

more

likely

to

be

weak

state

than

funding

of

rebels


oil

not

very

lootable
;

diamonds,

gems,

drugs

not

included

Direct

evidence

that

oil

exporters

have

less

reliable

and

competent

governments



as

measured

by

contract

observance



The resource curse

Other criticisms of the C & H measure


Endogeneity


Better to look at production instead of exports?


Case selection, as in neo
-
malthusian stories


Nation
-
level data too rough

The resource curse

De Soysa (2002)

Basically

accepts

Collier

&

Hoeffler

perspective

on

abundance,

but


-

primary

goods

exports

to

GDP

may

measure

scarcity

as

well

as

abundance



-

uses

World

Bank

measure

of

total

per

capita

stock

of

natural

resources


(separately

for

renewables

and

nonrenewables)


-

conflict

is

most

likely

at

medium

levels

of

renewable

resources


-

conflict

is

more

likely

with

abundance

of

mineral

resources


But
:

Most

of

the

minerals

are

not

lootable
.

Oil

included,

but

not

diamonds

No

geographical

disaggregation

De Soysa (2002).
For criticism, see

Lujala et al. (2005) and Gilmore et al. (2005)

The resource curse

Dimensions of lootability

Lootability


-

proximate

vs
.

distant

resources


-

diffuse

vs
.

point

resources


-

fragmentation

vs
.

concentration


-

peripheralization

of

networks

Le Billon (2001b:
569

572. Cf. also Auty (2001), who seems to have invented the dichotomy diffuse vs. point resources

The resource curse

Typology of resources and conflict

Le Billon (2001b: 573)

The resource curse

Conflict
-
relevant resources

Source: Gilmore, Gleditsch, Lujala & R
ød, 2005: 260, Table 1

The resource curse

Ross: Questions addressed in quantitative studies

Source: Ross (2004b: 338)

The resource curse

Ross: Minerals and secession claims

Source: Ross (2004b: 343)

The resource curse

Ross: Summary of quantitative studies

Source: Ross (2004b: 338)


Primary commodities generally not robustly related to civil
war onset


Agricultural commodities uncorrelated with civil wars
(onset or duration)


Oil exports linked to the onset of civil wars


Lootable commodities (gemstones, drugs) correlated with
the duration of conflict but not with onset


Timber not tested

The resource curse

Ross: Evidence from Cases

Source: Ross (2004a: 39)

The resource curse

Ross: Case selection

Source: Ross (2004a: 48)

The resource curse

Ross: Summary of findings

Source: Ross (2004a: 49)

The resource curse

Ross: Origins of conflict

Source: Ross (2004a: 50)

The resource curse

Ross: Duration

Source: Ross (2004a: 53)

The resource curse

Ross: Intensity

Source: Ross (2004a: 55)

The resource curse

Ross: Unanticipated mechanisms

Source: Ross (2004a: 57)

The resource curse

Ross: Conclusions

Source: Ross (2004a: 61

63)


Good evidence for a link to natural resources in these conflicts (although
reverse causation is possible)


Oil, non
-
fuel minerals, drugs are important; other primary commodities are
not


Neither looting not grievance important for the onset of conflicts


Drugs not linked to onset, but to duration (and reverse causation)


Resource wealth does not always make conflicts worse, although net
effect negative


Not one mechanism but many


Resources play a different role in separatist conflicts


Some unanticipated mechanisms (booty futures, preemptive repression)

The resource curse

Forest resources

Frequently

mention

in

the

case

study

literature

Two

opportunity

mechanisms


-

valuable

and

moderately

lootable

resource


-

safe

haven

Nation
-
level,

onset
:

no

(or

negative)

relationship

Disaggregated

analyses
:

still

no

relationship

Disaggregated

after

Cold

War
:

significant

Source:
Rustad, R
ød, Larsen & Gleditsch

(2007, unpublished), cf. also
Rustad (2006), Rustad, R
ød & Larsen (2006)

The resource curse

Opium and coca cultivation since 1950

Source: Päivi Lujala, NTNU, unpublished.

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The resource curse

Where do we go from here?


Distinguishing between territory and government conflicts


Geographical disaggregation


More attention to mechanisms


Special attention to post
-
Cold War period


More work on severity


Attention to specific commodities


-

oil (24 April)


-

diamonds (8 May)


-

Water (15 May)

The resource curse

References (1)

Addison, Tony; Philippe Le Billon & S. Mansoob Murshed, 2002. ‘Conflict in Africa: The Cost of Peaceful Behaviour, Journal of

Af
rican Economies


11(3): 365
-
386

Aslaksen, Silje & Ragnar Torvik, 2006.
’A Theory of Civil Conflict and Democracy in Rentier States’, Scandinavian Journal of Economics 108(4): 571



585

Auty, Richard, 2001.
Resource abundance and economic development.

Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bates, Robert et al., 2006.
African Security, Commodities, and Development.

Whitehall Report (4). London: Royal United Services Institute,


www.rusi.org
.

* Collier, Paul & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. ‘Greed and Grievance in Civil War’,
Oxford Economic Papers

56(4): 563

595

de Soysa, Indra, 2002. ‘Ecoviolence: Shrinking Pie or Honey Pot?’,
Global Environmental Politics
2(4): 1

34

Dunning, Thad, 2005. ‘Resource Dependence, Economic Performance, and Political Stability’,
Journal of Conflict Resolution

49(4): 451

482

Ellingsen, Tanja, 2000
. ‘Colorful Community or Ethnic Witches' Brew? Multiethnicity and Domestic Conflict During and After the Cold War’,
Journal of

Conflict Resolution

44(2): 228

249

Fearon, James D., 2005. ‘Primary Commodity Exports and Civil War’,
Journal of Conflict Resolution

49(4): 483

507

Fearon James D. & David D. Laitin, 2003. ‘Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War’,
American Political Science Review

97(1): 75

90

Gilmore, Elisabeth, Nils Petter Gleditsch, Päivi Lujala &
Jan Ketil Rød
, 2005. ‘Conflict Diamonds: A New Dataset’,
Conflict Management and Peace


Science

22(3): 257

292

Gurr, Ted Robert, 1970.
Why Men Rebel
. Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press.

Humphreys, Macartan, 2005. ‘Natural Resources, Conflict, and Conflict Resolution


Uncovering the Mechanisms’,
Journal of Conflict Resolution

49(4):


508

537

Klare, Michael T. 2001.
Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict.

New York: Metropolitan

The resource curse

References (2)

Le Billon, Philippe,
2000. ‘The Political Ecology of Transition in Cambodia 1989
-
1999: War, Peace and Forest Exploitation ‘,
Development and Change


31(4): 785

805

Le Billon, Philippe, 2001a. ‘Angola's Political Economy of War: The Role of Oil and Diamonds, 1975

2000’,
African Affairs

100(1):55
-
80

Le Billon

, Philippe, 2001b. ‘The Political Ecology of War: Natural Resources and Armed Conflicts’,
Political Geography

20(5): 561

584

Listhaug, Ola, 2005. ‘A Mild Resource Curse: The Impact of Oil Wealth Dissatisfaction on Political trust in Norway’, West Eur
ope
an Politics 28(4): 834



852.

* Lujala, Päivi; Nils Petter Gleditsch & Elisabeth Gilmore, 2005. ‘A Diamond Curse? Civil War and a Lootable Resource’,
Journal of Conflict Resolution


49(4): 538

562

Mehlum, Halvor; Karl Ove Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2006a.
‘Cursed by Resources or Institutions?’,
World Economy

29(8): 1117

1131

Mehlum, Halvor; Karl Ove Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2006b.
‘Institutions and the Resource Curse?’,
Economic Journal

116(1): 1

20

Ross, Michael L., 1999. ‘The Political Economy of the Resource Curse’ [Review Essay], World Politics 51(2): 297

322

Ross, Michael L., 2004a. How Do Natural Resources Influence Civil War. Evidence from Thirteen Cases’,
International Organization

58(1): 35

67

* Ross, Michael L., 2004b. ‘What Do We Know About Natural Resources and Civil War?’, Journal

of Peace Research

41(3): 337

356

Ross, Michael, 2006. ‘A Closer Look at Oil, Diamonds, and Civil War’,
Annual Review of Political Science

9: 265

300

Rustad, Siri Camilla Aas,

2006.
Forest Resources and Conflict


How Forest Resources Affect Onset and Duration of Intrastate Armed Conflicts
, paper


presented at the 47th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, San Diego, CA, 22

25 March,
www.isanet.org
.

Rustad, Siri Aas; Jan Ketil Rød & Wenche Larsen,

2006.
Foliage and Fighting. A Skeptical View: Forest Resources and Confliuct Duration


Conflict


Zones and Disaggregated Forest Data,

paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Working Group on Environmental Factors in


Conflict, Centre for the Study of Civil War, PRIO, 21

22 September,


www.prio.no/page/CSCW_research_detail/Programme_detail_CSCW/9649/48261.html
.

* Sachs, Jeremy D. & Andrew M. Warner, 2001. ‘The Curse of Natural Resources’,

European Econ
omic Review

45(4

6): 827

838

Smith, Benjamin B., 2004. ‘Oil Wealth and Regime Survival in the Developing World, 1960

1999’, American Journal of Political Sci
ence 48(2): 232

246

Starr, Harvey, 1978. ‘”Opportunity” and “Willingness” as Ordering Concepts in the Study of War’,
International Interactions

4(4) :363

387

The resource curse

Next session Tuesday 24 April:


Oil and Conflict


Student presentations by:

Daniela Fabel: Review of Smith (2004) &

Petra Heusser: Term paper on Saudi Arabia:

Regime Survival of an Oil Wealthy Country