Статья 'Влияние нефти на гражданские войны: парадигма political economy' - журнал 'Мировая политика' - NotaBene.ru
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World Politics

The influence of oil on civil wars: the political economy paradigm

Lebedev Sergei

PhD in Politics

Management Consultant

117499, Russia, g. Moscow, ul. Shvernika, 5

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Abstract: The research subject is the interconnection between oil wealth and political processes. The research object is the influence of hydrocarbons on ethnic conflicts. The author considers the ‘political’ dimension of the problem of resource curse and puts emphasis on the economic component of politics. There’s empirical data proving that the existence of ground or subsea oil or gas fields increases the probability of a civil war. At the same time, political and economic sciences still can’t explain this fact clearly and definitely. The main research paradigm is political economy with the rational choice methodology in the core. The author proceeds from the assumption that political actors try to analyze their profits and costs and make decisions based on this analysis. The article considers three explanations of the influence of oil on civil wars. Firstly, it’s a “honeypot effect”, when profits from hydrocarbons make official positions more enticing. Secondly, it’s the reduction of administrative competences of the state as a result of the resource curse. Thirdly, it’s the increase of probability of international intervention. The author concludes that the key conditions of a civil war are the low cost of a riot and the concentration of hydrocarbon wealth in one region which can be interested in separation. 

Keywords: gas, oil, civil war, honeypot effect, opportunity costs, political economy, rational choice, resource curse, separatism, hydrocarbon production
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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Grogger Jeff, 1998. Market wages and youth crime. Journal of Labor Economics 16 (4)
Fearon James, 2005. Primary Commodity Exports and Civil War. Journal of Conflict Resolution 49(4)
Ross Michael L. The Oil Curse, Princeton University Press, 2012
Sarbahi Anoop, 2005. Major States, Neighbors and Civil Wars: A Dyadic Analysis of Third-party Intervention in Intra-State Wars. Unpublished Paper, University of California and Los-Angeles
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