Political Exclusion, Oil, and Ethnic Armed Conflict

Victor Asal, Michael Findley, James A. Piazza, James Igoe Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Why do members of some ethnic groups rebel against the state? One approach holds that groups subject to exclusion from national politics engage in armed conflict. We theorize that the presence of resource wealth moderates the effect of political exclusion. Ethnic groups subject to exclusion whose settlement area includes oil wealth are more likely to experience the onset of armed conflict than groups experiencing exclusion alone. We depart from the convention of cross-national analysis to examine subnational, geocoded units of analysis—ethnic group settlement areas—to better capture the impact of natural resource distribution. Using data on ethnic group political exclusion derived from the Ethnic Power Relations database and geo-coded indicators, we conduct a series of logistic regression analyses for the years 1946 to 2005. We find that exclusion alone increase the likelihood of conflict, while the presence of oil wealth further raises the risk of war.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1343-1367
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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