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Wars of PlunderConflicts, Profits and the Politics of Resources$
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Philippe Le Billon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199333462

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199333462.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 September 2021

Resource Wars Reframed

Resource Wars Reframed

(p.9) 1 Resource Wars Reframed
Wars of Plunder

Philippe Le Billon

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the main perspectives on resource wars, presenting key concepts and a brief historical overview. Dominated by socio-biological and geopolitical explanations of struggles over resources, most accounts of “resource wars” have focused on resource scarcity in terms of the simplistic material aspects of resources and have failed to take their broader material and social dimensions into account. It argues that these approaches — which persist in neo-Malthusian interpretations of contemporary resource wars — posit an overly simplistic view of resource wars, both in terms of human nature (for example, soldiers motivated solely by greed) and geography (for example, regions being inherently conflict-prone because of resource abundance or scarcity).

Keywords:   resource wars, resource scarcity, neo-Malthusian, resource dependence, resource abundance

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