Do terrorism, organized crime (drug production), and state weakness affect contemporary armed conflicts? An empirical analysis

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Abstract

In 2014, the UN Security Council emphasized the dangers of terrorism, criminal activity (especially drug production and trafficking), and state weakness in conflict areas. However, neither policy debates nor scholarly analyses have focussed on the potential impact of these elements on conflict dynamics and characteristics, and the investigated partial relationships have led to inconclusive results. This article explores the presence in armed conflicts of terrorist groups among fighting parties, major drug production (indicating the presence of activities typical of criminal organizations), and state failure in the period 1990-2011. Focussing on intrastate conflicts, this article highlights that, while when they are isolated their impact on armed conflicts is limited, when the three factors are simultaneously present, the interactions among them create a sort of threshold effect capable of affecting conflict characteristics and, in particular, conflict duration and incompatibility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-53
Number of pages19
JournalGLOBAL CHANGE, PEACE & SECURITY
Volume28
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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