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Money. Money. Money? Economic incentives in civil conflict

Nelson, Phillip (2019) Money. Money. Money? Economic incentives in civil conflict. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Previous research has often focussed too narrowly on the influence of wealth to explain the relationship between economic factors and civil peace. Many scholars have suggested that this may not be enough, but it does not appear that we have been listening. This thesis assesses the strength of economic incentives to influence the actions of individuals and groups leading up to and during civil conflict by asking two overarching and inter-related research questions: (i) is wealth enough? Can a direct focus on wealth allow us to fully explain the influence of economic factors in civil conflict? And, (ii) what type of development is best for peace? Assuming that wealth is not the answer to everything and cannot solve all problems by its existence or multiplication, which other material factors deserve our attention? This thesis examines new evidence, advances new theories and argues that we must broaden our understanding of some well-known concepts to better understand real world events. In three chapters it presents a new theory to explain the relationship between development and peace observed across states; it argues that the real opportunity cost of rebellion may be different from that which dominates in the literature; and, during civil conflict, anti-insurgent militias follow a dual imperative to both combat insurgent groups and secure funding for continued operations. Advanced quantitative methods are utilised to test the hypotheses that arise. Conclusions drawn suggest that sometimes wealth is enough, but most often, it is not. The thesis finishes with policy recommendations that speak directly to the best type of development for peace.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Consumption opportunities, opportunity cost, civil conflict, civil war, dual imperative, militias, rebellion, agricultural employment, economic incentives, natural resources, war, conflict, peace
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Phillip Nelson
Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 14:47
Last Modified: 17 May 2019 14:47
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/24589

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