A Study on the Inter-Relation Between Armed Conflict and Natural Resources and its Implications for Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding

The article investigates the inter-relation between armed conflict and natural resources and its implications for conflict resolution and peacebuilding. The first part discusses and clarifies the nexus between natural resources and armed conflict, arguing that the former have a strong link with the latter only when natural resources have particular natural and geographical characteristics and when a country experiences peculiar political, societal and economic situations. The article shows how this inter-relation is various and diverse, at the point that even scholars who studied it have sometimes disagreed on their researches. The second part analyses the implications for conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Since changing the natural and geographical characteristic of natural resources is almost impossible, the article argues that conflict resolution and peacebuilding policies should be aimed to reduce those political, societal, and economic situations that, if inter-related with the presence of natural resources in a country, can affect armed conflicts. The analysis discusses how the presence of natural resources should be addressed during the resolution of a conflict and should be considered during the post-conflict peacebuilding phase. Finally, it tries to identify how international actors can have an effective role in conflict resolution and peacebuilding when natural resources are at stake.

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