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close this bookWar and Famine in Africa (Oxfam, 1991, 36 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
close this folder1. Introduction
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View the document1.1 The international context
View the document1.2 Oxfam's experience in Africa
View the document1.3 A Note on methodology
close this folder2 Food insecurity and the new world order
View the document2.1 The new world order'
View the document2.2 The position of Africa
close this folder3 Coping with change
View the document3.1 The intensification of production
View the document3.2 Political overview
View the document3.3 The development of 'Core' and 'Capitalisation Peripheral' areas
View the document3.4 The marginalisation of peripheral groups
View the document3.5 Patterns of social transformation
View the document3.6 The effects on the environment
View the document3.7 Coping with change
close this folder4 Local conflict
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View the document4.1 Conflict and resources
View the document4.2 Wars of subsistence
View the document4.3 Breaking the continuity
close this folder5 Internal conflict
View the document5.1 Connecting local and internal conflict
View the document5.2 limitations of conventional understanding
View the document5.3 War as political economy
close this folder6 War and famine
View the document6.1 Structural considerations
View the document6.2 The overall effect of war
View the document6.3 Some basic parameters
close this folder7 The internationalisation of public welfare
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View the document7.1 The conventions of war
View the document7.2 The internationalisation of public welfare
View the document7.3 The case for reform
View the document7.4 Oxfam's position
View the document7.5 Summary and conclusion
View the documentReferences

4.1 Conflict and resources

A shrinking resource-base has immediate implications for semi-subsistence groups who depend upon those resources for their physical existence. Environmental and resource questions can provide a useful context in which to discuss the growth of conflict and insecurity. In fact, a good deal of recent academic work has been carried out in this field (see Ulrich, 1989). Although the depletion of resources can be said to be an underlying and pervasive influence in many of the local conflicts and internal wars current in Africa, at a local level there are two other factors to consider. In the first place, local and inter-state warfare has a long (pre-colonial) history in Africa. Secondly, although resource questions may underlie conflict, at a more immediate level violence is also a means through which groups express their self-identity and political aspirations. This political and cultural dimension of conflict is of vital importance if one is to understand the dynamics of modern African warfare and its devastating effects.