Over-fishing, Conflict, and the S.C.S.


In this paper, we determine whether scarcity of a resource that is high in demand can induce international conflict. Specifically, we test whether the combination of fishery depletion and high fishing activity causes an increase conflict in the South China Sea using an instrumental variable approach. This relationship between scarcity and conflict in the South China Sea has been predicted by the resource conflict literature, but this is the first instance it has been confirmed empirically. To operationalize conflict we utilized an original data set of confrontations involving claimants to territory in the South China Sea. Through the use of an instrumental variable, we find support for our hypothesis.

Paper presented in MPSA 2017 Annual Meeting and Exhibition
Patrick J. Chester
Patrick J. Chester
Phd Candidate (ABD)

Patrick Chester is a PhD candidate at New York University’s Politics Department.