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Sub-National Determinants of Non-State Conflicts in Nigeria, 1991-2006
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2009 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Existing literature on non-state conflict tends to either focus on issues of resource scarcity or on ethnic/religious divisions. Largely overlooked in the empirical literature is the issue of how governance influences the risk that non-state actors take up arms against each other. This paper addresses this issue by examining the occurrence of non-state armed conflicts in Nigeria, claiming more than 7000 lives between 1991 and 2006. I suggest that at the macro level, the government’s strategy of replacing conventional state capacity with a centralized patronage sys- tem, based on purchasing political restraint, explains the proliferation of inter-group violence. Based on the interpretation of non-state conflicts as an expression of institutionalized rent- seeking, I derive testable hypotheses regarding where within a country such conflicts are most likely to occur. Utilizing GIS software and new, unique event based data at the sub-national level in Nigeria, the paper explores local determinants of non-state conflicts. The results lend some support to the notion that non-state actors fight both over wealth and over the political access that secure access to such wealth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-109959OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-109959DiVA: diva2:274841
Available from: 2009-11-02 Created: 2009-11-02 Last updated: 2014-01-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sins of Omission and Commission: The Quality of Government and Civil Conflict
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sins of Omission and Commission: The Quality of Government and Civil Conflict
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Is the risk of civil conflict related to the quality of government? This dissertation contributes to the quantitative research on this topic. First, it provides a more nuanced account of the role of the government in influencing the risk of civil conflict. In doing so, the dissertation bridges a gap between the quantitative literature, which primarily focuses on types of regimes, and the qualitative literature, which emphasizes variations in how political authority is exercised within these institutions. Second, the dissertation introduces novel measures of the quality of government, and tests their association with civil peace across countries, over time. The dissertation consists of an introductory chapter and four separate essays. Essay I examines the risk of conflict across different types of authoritarian regimes. The statistical results suggest that single-party regimes have a lower risk of civil conflict than military and multi-party authoritarian regimes. The finding is attributed to the high capacity for coercion and co-optation within single-party institutions. Essay II studies whether cross-national variations in the occurrence of civil conflict are due to differences in the quality of government. The essay finds that governments that are not able to carry through such basic governing tasks as protecting property rights and providing public goods, render themselves vulnerable to civil conflict. The focus of Essay III is on patronage politics, meaning that rulers rely on the distribution of private goods to retain the support necessary to stay in power. The statistical results suggest that patronage politics per se increase the risk of conflict. The conflict-inducing effect is mediated by large oil-wealth, however, because the government can use the wealth strategically to buy off opposition. Essay IV argues that patronage politics can also lead to violent conflict between groups. The results from a statistical analysis, based on unique sub-national data on inter-group conflict in Nigeria, are consistent with this argument. Taken together, the findings of this dissertation suggest that both the form and degree of government have a significant influence on the risk of civil conflict.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Universitetstryckeriet, 2009. 42 p.
Report / Department of Peace and Conflict Research, ISSN 0566-8808 ; 88
civil conflict, civil war, quality of government, corruption, patronage politics, governance, authoritarian regimes, Nigeria
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-109960 (URN)978-91-506-2113-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-12-19, Auditorium Minus, Museum Gustavianum, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2009-11-27 Created: 2009-11-02 Last updated: 2009-11-27Bibliographically approved

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Fjelde, Hanne
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