The political economy of conflict financing: a comprehensive approach beyond natural resources


This article argues that an emphasis on natural resources in conflict financing is unhelpful. Instead of focusing on individual methods of conflict financing, conflict economies should be approached as a combination of financing strategies. This opens new space for analyzing the vulnerability of organized armed groups. The article shows that organized armed groups are rational, have multiple sources of financing, and shift from one to another as a function of their needs. They operate in a structural environment that facilitates conflict financing. This challenges the effectiveness of multilateral policy against conflict financing and the viability of postconflict peacebuilding. If the availability of revenue sources can affect the dynamics of armed conflict, policy against conflict financing holds a promising potential for peacebuilding.