The natural resources that have an effect on civil wars can generally be divided into three different categories. The first category concerns resources that require capital-intensive processes to extract, like oil. These resources tend to increase the likelihood of the onset of civil wars, but not conflict duration and are more associated with separatist conflicts (de Soysa, 2002; Fearon & Laitin, 2003; Humphrey, 2005). This is likely to occur because in order to extract these resources and make a profit, territorial sovereignty is required. The second category considers resources that are easily extractable and still yield high profits like surface level gemstones and illicit drugs. These resources do not seem to be linked to the initiation of conflict, but do seem to lengthen pre-existing wars (Collier et al., 2004; Fearon, 2004), probably because they can provide operations with a significant source of income to continue fighting. Finally, there is no statistical evidence—and very little case study evidence—that links agricultural commodities to either the initiation or the duration of civ...
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...t occurred in each country; and whether or not at least one civil war occurred in each country. The remaining independent variables concern the length of civil wars: total days in which a country has spent in at least one civil war; and the average duration of civil wars. Each data point corresponding to each different variable was calculated using information from the Correlates of War database. For more information regarding the definition of each of these variables, see Appendix D.
In order to account for the changing international state system, as opposed to using fighting parties for each of the wars, I instead categorized each civil war by location country and considered the boundaries of the international state system in 2007. For countries that achieved secession with their civil war, the country that was counted as having a civil war was the seceded country.
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