Would you rebel ? An inquiry among high-risk youth in eastern DRC

Marijke Verpoorten, University of Antwerp

Why would an individual choose to take up arms and fight ? More than two decades of study of civil strife have yielded only a handful of studies that analyze the individual propensity to rebel. This article contributes to filling the gap. Relying on a representative survey of a high-risk population, we study the taste to rebel. Our high-risk population consists of artisanal miners in Kamituga, a mining town in South-Kivu, DR Congo. The large majority of artisanal miners have been exposed to violent conflict in the past and some have themselves participated in the activities of armed groups. We inquire about their taste to rebel at a time when they face eviction because of the arrival of a large-scale mining company, thus depriving them of their main source of income. We identify how their responses vary with selective material and non-material incentives of fighting, thus testing both the rational- and deprived- actor theory. In addition, in contrast to previous studies, our forward-looking question in a post-conflict setting allows us to verify whether past victimization and participation in warfare are associated with the intention to rebel.

About the speaker
Marijke Verpoorten is associate Professor at the IOB – Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Antwerp. She also teaches at the African School of Economics (Benin), and at the Catholic University of Bukavu (DR Congo). She obtained a PhD in Economics, from the University of Leuven. Her research focuses on the causes and consequences of armed conflict, on natural resources, global supply chains, and more broadly, on the economic and institutional development of Sub-Saharan Africa, with a special focus on Rwanda, Benin and DR Congo. She has published in journals such as the Journal of Development Economics, Ecological Economics, Food Policy, Economic Development and Cultural Change, World Development, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Political Geography and the Journal of Peace Research.

Venue: Conference room (room 0.16 & 0.17)

Date: 27 October 2016

Time: 12:00 - 13:00


UNU-MERIT