Poppies or Peace: The Relationship between Opium Production and Conflict   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the thesis abstract: "Presidential Study Directive-10 directed executive agencies to improve efforts in preventing human atrocities. Conflict analysis has identified that internal conflict has significant adverse impacts on civilian populations. Apart from increased casualties arising out of collateral damage, civilian populations also suffer loss of income, destruction of property and food stores, internal displacement, and even involuntary conscription and forced labor. Reducing internal conflict is part of conflict prevention. Research into economic theories of conflict analysis has examined the role of primary export commodities as they relate to increases in internal conflict. As part of this area of research, this thesis examines whether illicit raw opium production, as a primary export commodity, appears to have a similar fuction [sic] with respect to conflict. Analyzing data on changes in raw opium production, in the context of the national economy, and comparing information to changes in internal armed conflict suggests that increased illicit opium production relates to increases in internal conflict. This apparent association implies that atrocity prevention may benefit from incorporating opium crop monitoring and eradication into planning efforts."

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