State Capacity and Conflict: Evidence from Afghanistan

Armando Geller, Seyed M. Mussavi Rizi, Maciej M. Latek and Cameron Thies

Government corruption represents pathological interactions between the central state and local power structures that can cause internal armed conflict and shape its course. To investigate the interplay of corruption and conflict, we build a multiagent model of corruption mechanisms and processes in the Afghan drug industry that sheds light on whether corruption causes conflict or results from conflict. If the latter is true, combating corruption may prove futile if it simply results from conflict. We then investigate how corruption shapes the course of the conflict and show that the initial capacity of the Afghan state produces diff erent trajectories of conflict.

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