The Causes of Civil Conflicts: Recent Advances Using Disaggregated Data

Civil conflicts are complex phenomena because they are linked to processes, actors and structures present at the local, national, regional and global levels. For many years, the absence of disaggregated data on conflicts has hindered empirical work from going beyond cross country analysis. Since the beginning of the 2000s, technical advances in geolocation of violent events and spatial analyses have fostered the emergence of a large number of empirical studies carried out at the disaggregated scale of regions, cities or geographical units. What has been the contribution of that work in understanding the causes of civil conflicts? This survey shows that the use of disaggregated data has led to methodological advances that are important in understanding the role played by poverty and natural resources in the emergence of civil conflicts. This evolution of statistical tools also draws promising research perspectives for contemporary and still widely debated issues such as climate change. Nevertheless, this gain in precision must not be at the expense of a better understanding of the regional and global issues that are also involved in the emergence of civil conflicts. Thus, the issues of trade and social cohesion still need to be deepened because they are explained at the level of groups whose dimension is poorly understood.

Laville C. (2020) "Les causes des conflits civils : avancées récentes à l’aide de données désagrégées". Revue française d'économie, 2019/3 (Vol. XXXIV), pp. 123-165