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Description de l’éditeur

Why do some nations suffer significantly higher rates of terrorism and guerrilla attacks? How important are the social, economic, and political opportunities and grievances stemming from international rent dependency? Drawing on the longstanding “greed vs. grievance” debate about the origins of civil war and related arguments about the political economy of rentier states and the “resource curse,” this dissertation examines the importance of multiple forms of international rents on two forms of political violence: (1) terrorist attacks on civilians; and (2) guerrilla attacks on the state and its personnel. Specifically, this dissertation analyzes the relative importance and mediating political mechanisms associated with five types of international rents: (1) exports of oil and natural gas; (2) economic aid and assistance; (3) military aid; (4) worker remittances; and (5) tourist revenues.Using cross-sectional pooled time series techniques with zero-inflated negative binomial regression applied to a global cross-national dataset for 193 countries from 1971-2008, I examine how multiple dimensions of rentier states and various associated social, political and economic structures affect annual counts of terrorist and guerrilla attacks. The major findings of the study is that international oil and gas exports increase terror and guerrilla attacks, the latter effect largely mediated by economic and political factors. Additionally, nations with state-controlled oil and gas industries are more likely to suffer guerrilla attacks, while nations with privately controlled oil and gas industries are less likely to experience attacks. International military aid has an inverted U-shaped relationship with terrorism but does not affect guerrilla warfare, while economic aid and assistance affects neither. International tourism shows an inverted U-shaped relationship with terror and guerrilla attacks, suggesting that, at lower levels of dependency, political grievances lead to violent conflict. But, as international rent-dependency increases, the state can use rent revenue to suppress, buy-off, or otherwise co-opt dissent. International worker remittance rents increase incidences of terrorism, but not guerrilla warfare. These results show net of zero-inflation controls for the national capacity of international news coverage as gauged by the number of stories in Reuters international news wire.Other results show that state repression consistently increases both terror and guerrilla attacks. Additionally, insurgency counts differ significantly by regime type. Press freedom is a robust predictor of terror attacks, and, less consistently, guerrilla attacks. In both cases, a free press likely acts as a facilitating factor. Similarly, nations with extensive forest cover or mountainous terrain are more conducive to attacks.Taken together, this analysis suggests that international rentierism is a significant factor in fostering terrorism and guerrilla violence. Both the political grievances opportunities for sustained insurgent organization associated with international rentier states are important predictors. Given that multiple international rent sources are found to influence terrorism and guerrilla warfare, I find little evidence that rebels activity is spurred on by the existence of “lootable” resources. If so, only oil and gas rents should matter. Future research should address how state-controlled oil exporting and other rentier structures are associated with the political dynamics most relevant to predicting terrorism and guerrilla violence.

Politique et actualité
18 mai