JSRP Paper 9

Title: Resources, Conflict and Governance: a critical review of the evidence

Authors: Jeroen Cuvelier, Koen Vlassenroot, Nathaniel Olin

Date: October 2013

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What are the links between natural resources and violent conflict? How do formal, informal, and ‘hybrid’ governance arrangements shape those links? What is the impact on the position of conflict-affected populations of these arrangements? This paper conducts a systematic review of the evidence base of peer-reviewed and ‘grey’ literature on resource governance in conflict-affected areas. It finds limited consensus on how to approach and conceptualise resource-related issues in conflict-affected areas. Many of the existing theories rely on normative assumptions and lack empirical support. Three areas are highlighted as demanding further research: hybrid resource governance, rebel resource governance, and the position and strategies of conflict-affected populations.

This paper forms part of a series of systematic evidence reviews undertaken as a foundation for the Justice and Security Research Programme.