Networks in Conflict: Theory and Evidence from the Great War of Africa

60 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2017

See all articles by Michael König

Michael König

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Dominic Rohner

University of Lausanne

Mathias Thoenig

University of Lausanne

Fabrizio Zilibotti

Yale University; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 23, 2016

Abstract

We study from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective how a network of military alliances and enmities affects the intensity of a conflict. The model combines elements from network theory and from the politico-economic theory of conflict. We obtain a closed-form characterization of the Nash equilibrium. Using the equilibrium conditions, we perform an empirical analysis using data on the Second Congo War, a conflict that involves many groups in a complex network of informal alliances and rivalries. The estimates of the fighting externalities are then used to infer the extent to which the conflict intensity can be reduced through (i) dismantling specific fighting groups involved in the conflict; (ii) weapon embargoes; (iii) interventions aimed at pacifying animosity among groups. Finally, with the aid of a random utility model, we study how policy shocks can induce a reshaping of the network structure.

Suggested Citation

König, Michael and Rohner, Dominic and Thoenig, Mathias and Zilibotti, Fabrizio, Networks in Conflict: Theory and Evidence from the Great War of Africa (December 23, 2016). Yale University Economic Growth Center Discussion Paper No. 1056, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2893884 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2893884

Michael König

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zürich
Switzerland

Dominic Rohner

University of Lausanne ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015
Switzerland

Mathias Thoenig

University of Lausanne ( email )

Fabrizio Zilibotti (Contact Author)

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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