Policy Briefs

Natural Resources and Violent Conflict in Egypt

With the support of the Minerva Research Initiative, the Conflict and Development team of Innovations for Peace and Development (IPD) at the University of Texas coded time series data on the location of resource extraction and production facilities, and the monetary value of resources, in order to assess the correlation between natural resources and civil conflict.

The team has prepared a series of country and regional-level research briefs based on their findings. In this series, the first report examines whether natural resources and industrial materials had an effect on Egypt’s unrest during the Arab Spring. By using data from Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) and coded resource data from United States Geological Survey (USGS), the team produced visual maps and ran geographic regression analyses to assess the correlation between natural resources and civil conflict during the eve of the Egyptian Revolution and its consequent unrest.  Check out the full report here.

Natural Resources and Violent Conflict in Central Africa

The second brief on natural resources and violent conflict focuses on Central Africa – the Democratic Republic of Congo and its bordering states. As a state that is often used as a prototypical example of natural resources’ ability to promote civil violence, this is a key case to examine.Using data coded by the Conflict and Development Team of IPD, combined with conflict information from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), the team produced maps and geographic regression analysis about the situation in Central Africa. We find that resource-related violence is highly related to border distance in the DRC. Borders provide escape routes for rebels to flee the reach of the central government and into friendly co-ethnic territory in other states. Check out the full report here.

Natural Resources and Violent Conflict in Algeria

The third brief on natural resources and violent conflict focuses on Algeria, a resource rich state that has seen its share of internal conflict. As a state that receives most of its revenue from the sale of hydrocarbons, Algeria is a prime case to examine. It allows us to see if prior government control of resources matters to the outbreak of resource-related violence.

Using data coded by the Conflict and Development Team of IPD, combined with conflict information from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), the team produced maps and geographic regression analysis about the situation in Algeria. We find that violence is unrelated to, or even negatively correlated with, the location of important natural resources. As the base of the government’s power, protection of these resources is paramount to the government’s survival. Check out the full report here.