The connection between oil wealth and internal armed conflicts: Exploring the mechanisms of the relationship using a subnational lens

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Most econometric based studies have found some connection between oil wealth and conflict. But the literature, both quantitative and qualitative-based studies, is less conclusive about the processes that may link the two variables. The main objective of this paper is to contribute to the literature on the oil-conflict relationship through a case study that explores the questions with a subnational lens. The research analyses localised evidence about the channels of transmission by which oil wealth affected the onset and intensity of armed conflict in an oil-producing Colombian municipality, San Vicente de Chucurí. The contribution of the subnational approach is particularly relevant to the literature because civil wars and intra-state armed conflicts, like the current one in Colombia, may present major regional variations that are not attributable to national factors. The central argument of this paper is that San Vicente's oil wealth and the spill-over effects from the neighbouring oil-producing regions contributes to explain the onset and intensity of the armed conflict in this municipality. Additionally, the paper unveils political processes behind such connection. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative data collected in fieldwork, the paper undertakes a process-tracing analysis covering the period from the early 1960s to 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-331
Number of pages13
JournalExtractive Industries and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Economic Geology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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