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The political demography of conflict in modern Africa

Green, Elliott D. ORCID: 0000-0002-0942-5756 (2012) The political demography of conflict in modern Africa. Civil Wars, 14 (4). pp. 477-498. ISSN 1369-8249

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13698249.2012.740198


Sub-Saharan Africa has shifted from having a low population density and no population growth in the 19th century to an extremely high population growth today. I argue here that an important cause behind contemporary civil conflict has been this rapid demographic shift. Specifically, I show that low population densities in Africa historically contributed to communal land rights and the creation of large states. In the postcolonial era, however, these two variables have combined with high population growth rates, low levels of urbanization, and rural-rural migration flows to produce large amounts of 'sons of the soil' conflict over land. Evidence from contemporary civil wars in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo supports my theory.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Taylor and Francis Group.
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2013 14:35
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2023 17:03

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