A Theory of Regional Conflict Complexes

CRREP working paper serie 2018-05

43 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2018

See all articles by Arthur Silve

Arthur Silve

Université Laval

Thierry Verdier

Paris School of Economics (PSE); Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Date Written: March 01, 2018

Abstract

Civil conflicts spill over into neighboring countries. This paper proposes a theory of the contagion of civil wars. Weak territorial control facilitates the emergence of a regional market for war inputs in the “porous frontier.” The contagion effect is nonlinear and creates multiple equilibrium situations of regional complexes of civil conflicts. This helps explain the observed patterns of regional clustering of conflict and institutional quality, and raises identification issues in the measurement of the contagion effect. We also derive a positive spillover of civil wars: governments are sometimes in a position to avoid contagion by improving their institutions. Finally, we explore the policy implications for military intervention, and military and institutional cooperation.

Keywords: civil war, contagion, porous frontier, institutions, military intervention, institutional cooperation

JEL Classification: D74, N40, P48

Suggested Citation

Silve, Arthur and Verdier, Thierry, A Theory of Regional Conflict Complexes (March 01, 2018). CRREP working paper serie 2018-05, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3211416 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3211416

Arthur Silve (Contact Author)

Université Laval ( email )

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Thierry Verdier

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014
France

Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) - Department of Economics ( email )

Rua Marques de Sao Vicente, 225/206F
Rio de Janeiro, RJ 22453
Brazil

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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