Carlo Koos / Matthias Basedau

Does Uranium Mining Increase Civil Conflict Risk? Evidence from a Spatiotemporal Analysis of Africa from 1945 to 2010

GIGA Working Paper, No. 205, September 2012

Abstract
We employ a two‐tier spatiotemporal analysis to investigate whether uranium operations cause armed conflict in Africa. The macrolevel analysis suggests that – compared to the baseline conflict risk – uranium ventures increase the risk of intrastate conflict by 10 percent. However, we find ethnic exclusion to be a much better predictor of armed conflict than uranium. The microlevel analysis reveals that uranium‐spurred conflicts are spatiotemporally feasible in four countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Namibia, Niger and South Africa. We find strong evidence in the case of Niger, and partial evidence in the case of the DRC. Namibia and South Africa do not yield substantial evidence of uranium‐induced conflicts. We conclude that uranium may theoretically be a conflictinducing resource, but to the present day empirical evidence has been sparse as most countries are still in the exploration phase. Considering that the coming years will see 25 African countries transition from uranium explorers into producers, we strongly suggest that our analysis be revisited in the coming years.

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Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

Director of the GIGA Institute of African Affairs
Editor GIGA Focus Africa

Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau is director of the GIGA Institute of African Affairs and professor of political science at the University of Hamburg. His research focuses on political institutions and armed conflicts, as well as how both are linked to ethnicity, religion, and natural resources. He is also the regional coordinator for Central and West Africa within the framework of the Bertelsmann Transformation Index.

Recent Publications by the Authors

Matthias Basedau

Party Systems in Africa

in: Nic Cheeseman (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming

Matthias Basedau

Die ‚African Renaissance‘: Möglichkeiten für die deutsche und europäische Afrikapolitik

in: Metis (ed.), Metis-Perspektiven: Afrika – der aufsteigende Kontinent, Berlin und München: Metis, 2019, 6-10

Matthias Basedau

Book Review: Africanistan - Development or Jihad? by Serge Mihailof

Zeitschrift für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik, 2019

Matthias Basedau

Book Review: Africanistan - Development or Jihad? by Serge Mihailof

Africa Spectrum, 54, 2019, 2, 176-178

Matthias Basedau / Jonathan Fox / Christopher Huber / Arne Pieters / Tom Konzack / Mora Deitch

Introducing the "Religious Minorities at Risk" Dataset

Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, 25, 2019, 4