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Managing Resource-related Conflict: A Framework of Lootable Resource Management and Postconflict Stabilization

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Published online on


States endowed with valuable lootable natural resources tend to experience longer armed conflicts, more intense fighting in extractive regions and face a higher risk of recurring conflict than states without such resources. At the same time, many states defy resource-fueled conflict traps and set up institutional arrangements that seem to alleviate the risk of recurring conflict. However, policy makers and academics alike lack a sound understanding of the link between postconflict stabilization and strategies of resource management that often escape the paradigm of "good resource governance." This article contributes to the questions of how to conceptualize diverse institutional arrangements in the resource sector and how to link these emerging institutions to postconflict stabilization. I develop a theoretical framework that predicts the risk of recurring armed conflict based on lootable resource management strategies and conditioning factors. The framework is then tested on a unique event history dataset. Results support the stabilizing effects of inclusive and publicly accountable modes of resource management as advocated for by proponents of "good resource governance." Alternative resource management strategies either increase the risk of conflict recurrence or interact with other variables, changing the prospects of postconflict stability in important ways.