Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

Document Type



This paper examines the impact of structural adjustment loans of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank on Civil Conflict. The paper argues that there are three major shortcomings to previous research on this topic. Previous research has focused more on grievances with little focus on the opportunities that may influence rebel behavior. In addition, previous research has placed little focus on the role of state capacity can play in affecting rebel behavior. As such previous research has not fully explained how both opportunities and willingness (Most & Starr 1989) are necessary conditions needed for civil conflict to occur (Most & Starr 1989; Gartzke 1998) or incorporated these conditions into their models. The paper argues that the rebel’s willingness to engage in civil conflict can be derived from either grievance associated with income inequality or rent seeking opportunities. Further it argues that opportunity is derived from the state capacity. The paper finds support for the argument that opportunity and willingness are necessary conditions needed for civil conflict to take place. It finds that the interaction of inequality and state capacity or rent seeking opportunities and state capacity increases the likelihood that civil conflict will take place. The paper concludes by suggesting that the impact of structural adjustment loans on civil conflict is complex and may impact different groups in the society differently. Therefore it is necessary to identify the particular grievance that may affect the various groups while also examining how state capacity can also affect group behavior.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Sobek, David