Oil and interstate behavior: The role of resource location and dependence on state interactions



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If natural resources are considered valuable to states’ economies, why do we see conflict over some deposits, but not others? Why are some states able to efficiently manage conflict related to resources while others cannot? In this dissertation project, I examine how both the presence of natural resource deposits and states’ reliance on that resource impacts three types of interstate behavior, including the emergence of interstate conflict, the likelihood of border settlement, and conflict management strategies. I argue that when a resource is proximate to a state’s border, it can become more conflictual, because of potentially increased access by neighboring states. As a result, state’s strategic behavior can change based on whether they are reliant on a given resource and whether the resource is proximate to the dyad’s border. I suggest that a resource must be both valuable to the dyad and proximate to the border to impact the strategic behavior between states. In this paper, I examine contiguous states to empirically test how economic dependence and proximity of a deposit to the border impact the aforementioned behaviors.



Oil, Conflict, Border Settlement, Natural Resources, Conflict Management