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Title: Oil and state capture : the subnational links between oil revenues and armed conflict in Colombia
Author: Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, Juan David
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 3823
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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While there is strong evidence of the association between oil wealth and internal armed conflicts, the literature is less conclusive about the processes linking the two. Despite myriad mechanisms hypothesised by the literature, much uncertainty still exists about the causal pathways between oil and armed conflicts. How does oil revenues affect the occurrence and course of internal armed conflicts in contexts of political decentralisation? The main argument of the thesis is that the control of abundant oil revenues by subnational governments contributes to shape the strategies undertaken by armed groups at the local level. Subnational governments become a prize for armed groups, which pursue oil revenues through the political capture of local democracy. The armed groups interfere with democracy through a mix of violent and non-violent strategies. The thesis identifies political connections between oil revenues and armed conflicts and traces mechanism which I term the subnational-government-as-target. The pathway contributes to explain how oil revenues can undermine the workings of the subnational government through the dynamics of the armed conflict. A comparative case study approach was implemented to examine how oil revenues affected conflict and public management at the subnational level in Colombia. Drawing on data collected over five months of fieldwork in oil-royalty-abundant municipalities, the thesis also constitutes one of the first studies to examine the effects of oil revenues accrued by non-oil-producing municipalities in Colombia. The qualitative and quantitative data was triangulated to carry out a process-tracing analysis covering the period from the early 1960s to 2017.
Supervisor: Collier, Paul ; Sánchez-Ancochea, Diego Sponsor: Colfuturo ; Newton-Caldas Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Governance of natural resources ; Government expenditures ; Civil wars ; Public policy