Resource Conflict in Vulnerable Environments: Three Models Applied to Darfur
A recurring argument in the global debate is that climate deteriora- tion is likely to make social conflicts over dwindling natural resources more common in the future. In this paper, we present a modelling framework featuring three potential mechanisms for how the alloca- tion and dynamics of scarce renewable resources like land might cause social conflict in vulnerable environments. The rst model shows how decreasing resources make cooperative trade between two groups col- lapse. The second mechanism introduces a Malthusian subsistence level below which disenfranchised members of one community start to prey on the resources of another community in an appropriative coflict-setting. The third scenario explores how the long-run dynam- ics of resources and population levels interact to cause cycles of stag- nation and recovery. Predictions from the models are then applied to the ongoing conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan. Our analysis sug- gests that e¤ective resources per capita in the region appear to have declined by about 5/6 since the 1970s, which at least partially explains the observed disintegration of markets, the recent intensity of conflicts, and the current depopulation of large parts of Darfur.
long-run resource and population dynamics
Working Papers in Economics