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Oil, Democracy and Internal Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa

Journal: RUDN Journal of Public Administration (Vol.6, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 268-285

Keywords : oil; democracy; internal conflict; panel regression; Sub-Saharan Africa;

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This study examines the effect of oil and democracy on internal conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The study employed panel regression on 14 oil rich SSA spanning from 1983-2012. The major finding reveals a U-turn from the resource curse theory because it clearly shows that, increase in oil leads to a reduction in the likelihood of internal conflict situations in SSA. The study found strong evidence on the significance of political institutions in mitigating internal conflict in SSA. However, the interaction between oil and democracy reduces the risk of internal conflict in SSA countries with the lowest and average polity scores and increase conflict in those SSA with a maximum polity score. This outcome is usually expected in the course of transition from autocracy to democracy in developing countries. Therefore, with further improvement in the political institutions, the mitigating effects of oil on internal conflict will re-emerge. Impliedly, oil in itself is a blessing and leads to the realization of peace when countries improve their political institutions. Also, the study uncovered that, while real GDP reduces the chances of internal conflicts in SSA, an increase in military expenditures tends to dampen the likelihood of peace which is a bit departure from the rentier peace theory. Therefore, the study suggests that, for peace to be maintained, SSA should reduce its expenditure on the military and increase that of social spending while improving its political system.

Last modified: 2020-09-10 05:03:10