- مبلغ: ۸۶,۰۰۰ تومان
- مبلغ: ۹۱,۰۰۰ تومان
Anecdotal accounts of the geographical spread of war inevitably involve Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. But is conflict spillover effectively stronger in SSA than elsewhere? To answer this question, we estimate models of civil war onset comparing SSA against the rest of the world (RoW). We find that in SSA a neighbour at war increases the probability of civil war onset by at least 1%. This is not negligible, considering that the unconditional probability of civil war onset is 1.1% in the global sample and 1.5% in the SSA sample. The spillover effect in the RoW is three times smaller than in SSA and, in general, statistically not different from zero. The results are robust to changes in the definition of neighbourhood and the inclusion of regional variables in the estimating equations to account for clustering effects. Finally, we provide evidence that refugee inflows and the artificial separation of ethnic groups explain part, but not all, of the spillover effect in SSA.
5. Directions of future research and conclusions
Our estimates indicate that the spillover of civil conflict across countries is significantly stronger in SSA than in the RoW. A high degree of ethnic partition and weak state capacity combined with large refugee flows are some of the factors that may contribute to making SSA countries particularly vulnerable to conflict contagion. Still, the evidence suggests that conflict spillover in SSA is not fully explained by these factors. Future research should therefore extend the analysis to other potential transmission mechanisms. In particular, a hypothesis that we believe would be worth testing is whether conflict spillover in SSA is related to the geographical distribution of natural resources. Another direction of future research that we believe worth considering is the analysis of contagion across different forms of violence, rather than just across different countries. Our paper shows that SSA is more vulnerable to contagion from civil war to civil war. But recent events in the Middle East, Nigeria, and Kenya/Somalia suggest that civil conflict in one country might spill over to another country in the form of terrorism and/or other types of violence that, while not technically classified as civil war, can still significantly destabilize the socio-political system. The question is therefore whether SSA is also more vulnerable to these other forms of contagion than the rest of the world. From a policymaking perspective, our paper is a warning bell: conflict spillover is mainly a Sub-Saharan African problem, which therefore requires interventions specifically tailored to the reality of SSA. General recommendations on the importance of managing refugee camps to prevent their militarization and to facilitate the integration of refugees among domestic citizens are certainly relevant to SSA. However, a more specific area of intervention concerns the strengthening of regional cooperation and diplomacy. SSA, much more than the rest of the world, is populated with a large number of regional economic communities (RECs). These were originally established to foster intra-regional trade, but some of them have progressively evolved into more encompassing organizations that also aim at promoting peace and security. Making RECs fully operational and credible could therefore be a way to address the risk of war contagion in SSA.