Intra-national conflict in developing and emerging countries represent one of the major threats to global security in the twenty-first century. Considerable proportion of the academic literature in recent years has been trying to disentangle the Gordian knot that links climate (change) and conflict. However, there is a strong need to systematically investigate how climate may possibly influence conflicts. The present analysis intends to be a first step in understanding a possible contributory pathway, i.e. the availability of natural resources. Scholars have argued in favour of either resource scarcity and resource abundance as drivers of conflicts. Here, we explore the reasons behind such disagreement, by conducting a meta-regression analysis of the empirical literature linking natural resources and conflict. The analysis adopts two methods to deal with the non-independence of studies: a hierarchical linear model with two levels and an OLS with robust standard errors clustered by study. We find that, although a genuine link exists between resources and conflict, a number of studies’ methodological features have considerable influence on the findings.
Working Language: English