New Regionalisms, Micro-Regionalisms, and the Migration-Conflict Nexus: Evidence from Natural Resource Sectors in West Africa

Authored by: J. Andrew Grant , Matthew I. Mitchell , Frank K. Nyame

The Ashgate Research Companion to Regionalisms

Print publication date:  January  2012
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754677628
eBook ISBN: 9781315613499
Adobe ISBN: 9781317041863

10.4324/9781315613499.ch21

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Abstract

West Africa is home to myriad natural resource sectors. Although these sectors possess much potential for economic growth, they also present significant governance challenges. The labour-intensive nature of natural resource sectors serves as a magnet for both internal and cross-border migration. The conventional view is that the attendant influx of migrants may result in conflict, as new arrivals are often blamed for a variety of complaints – real or imagined – ranging from downward pressure on wages, rising prices for staple products, and increases in crime and other societal ills. Conflict between migrant and host populations may escalate in terms of intensity and scope. The associated animosities and cleavages may be exploited by elites for political and economic gain, leading to sustained violence that can spread across a region and engulf an entire country.

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