Scott Wolford’s article, “Oil Discoveries, Shifting Power, and Civil Conflict,” is the subject of a recent ISQ replication symposium:
From the LBJ’s Strauss Center:
Expanding on Initial Work, Scholars Make Contribution Says Wolford
In a upcoming post for International Studies Quarterly, Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar and UT Professor Scott Wolford and co-author Curtis Bell respond to recent replication of their theoretical and empirical work. In the post, Wolford responds to what he calls “rigorous” and “thoughtful” follow up work on the link between oil resources and civil conflict. In pointing to these contributions, Wolford concludes that replication can lead to “new, creative, and unanticipated insights.”
In their 2014 article, “Oil Discoveries, Shifting Power, and Civil Conflict”, Wolford and Bell explored the impact of oil discoveries on the strategic environment. In particular, they examine the relationship between oil discoveries and bargaining between governments and rebel groups and the impact of resource wealth on civil conflict. They concluded that the discovery of oil has the potential to change the expectations of either group, which can reduce willingness to bargain and increase the likelihood of civil conflict.
Wolford explains that attempts by authors Ritter and Florea to replicate this initial work have yielded substantial and significant contributions. In particular, Wolford says the authors explore the possibility that regimes might pursue preemptive repression following oil discoveries, warranting further examination of regimes’ coercive capacity. They also consider the impact of prospective oil wealth on government motivation to engage in conflict or negotiate a peace deal, pointing out that the desire to actually realize resource wealth might make regimes more likely to bargain to achieve stability.