When this research was conducted in 2016–2020, the consensus was that natural resources play an important role in violent conflicts. Yet, the research community struggled to unravel the precise socio-environmental mechanisms that bring about natural resource conflicts. Therefore, the overarching aim of the thesis was to advance the understanding of mechanisms underlying violent natural resource conflicts towards effective prevention. Key conclusions include:
•Existing descriptions of critical natural resources overemphasize their economic importance at the expense of ecosystem support and socio-cultural functions of natural resources;
•A new, holistic, definition of criticality for natural resources;
•Confirmation of the importance of natural resource variables when numerically predicting conflict, though their effects are often mediated by intervening socio-economic variables;
•Key structural points on the causal paths towards natural resource conflicts, which in theory function towards effective prevention:
−to reverse vicious circles of conflict to virtuous circles of peace, it is necessary to improve state and natural resource management institutions, balance resource availability and demand, limit forced displacement, and ensure adequate livelihoods;
−resource exploitation and its revenues, environmental conservation, and environmental restoration can stabilize peaceful situations.

The last section discusses trends in the field of environmental security since the finalisation of the dissertation, important to take into account when reflecting on the presented results. Recommendations for policymakers are summarized in the conclusions.

  • Nedladdning Ladda ner publikation (PDF, 4.7 MB)
  • Publikationstyp: Development Dissertation Brief
  • Land/region: -
  • År: 2023
  • Utgiven av: Expertgruppen för biståndsanalys
  • Språk: Svenska
  • Publicerad på Openaid: 4/19/2024