Choose any armed conflict, it can be a war, civil war, terrorist attack, etc. that you know about or are interested in knowing more about. Do any of the links between economic activity and war that you read this week help explain the cause or history of the conflict you chose? What is that explanation. If your case doesn’t fit well with any of the readings, tell me what doesn’t work, why it doesn’t work, and what you thiiqunk the answer might be.
Economics and War
This week we are looking at a few articles that link IPE with other aspects of International Relations.
Andreas (2004) provides us with a great study about the “black market” side of conflict. For the most part, this is not something you will see in other studies of the economics of war. It is unique in the sense that Andreas considers how smuggling and criminal activity play roles in both the onset and termination of war—which damages our easily made assumptions that crime simply intensifies and prolongs conflict.
Rosendorff and Sandler 2005 is an introduction to a special journal issue (an entire edition set aside for one topic) about terrorism. As you’ll notice, there is less here about economic causes/consequences of terrorism than there is the employment of IPE theories to the study of terrorism.
Finally, Ross (2006) looks at something called the “resource curse.” This is a hypothesis that the existence and trade in valuable resources like oil or diamonds generate conflict because they are in high demand and allow armed groups to pay soldiers and supply themselves. It’s important because Ross is one of the first to lay out that different resources have different effects on conflict. For example, diamonds are high priced and may spark a war if a rebel group perceives it can take advantage of that resource to engage in a conflict. However, once the conflict is ongoing, it is the ability to smuggle goods that becomes crucial to maintaining the war effort.