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Why do conflicts over scarce renewable resources turn violent? A qualitative comparative analysis

Ide, T.ORCID: 0000-0001-8401-2372 (2015) Why do conflicts over scarce renewable resources turn violent? A qualitative comparative analysis. Global Environmental Change, 33 . pp. 61-70.

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This study addresses the question why intergroup conflicts over scarce, renewable resources in peripheral areas of the global South escalate into violence. In order to do so, twenty cases of such conflicts, seven of which turned violent, are analyzed. The method of fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis is used in order to bridge the gap between quantitative and qualitative accounts in the field and to detect patterns of conjunctural causation. In theoretical terms, structural conditions (negative othering and high power differences between the conflict parties) and triggering conditions (external resource appropriation and recent political change) of a violent escalation of renewable resource conflicts are distinguished. The empirical results as well as various robustness checks and comparisons with individual cases suggest that the simultaneous presence of negative othering, low power differences and recent political change is a sufficient condition for the violent escalation of conflicts over scarce renewable resources. I conclude that research on socio-environmental conflicts should pay more attention to conjunctural causation, local power differences and qualitatively different forms of conflict and political change.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Copyright: © 2015 The Author
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