Traditional Rulers, Resource Scarcity, and Violence in Nigeria
In Sub-Saharan Africa, land and water are increasingly contested resources, often leading to violent clashes between different groups. In Nigeria, in particular, violence between nomadic herders and sedentary farmers has escalated over the last decade. Yet, the violence is not ubiquitous. This variation engenders an interesting theoretical question: why do we see some groups succumb to conflict while other groups manage to co-exist peacefully in the face of increasing resource pressures? My dissertation project will examine this question by focusing on the role of traditional rulers, whom wield significant influence over local level conflict resolution. I will employ a multi-method approach combining various data sources to test my hypotheses, in particular that local government decisions may influence the effort traditional rulers put into conflict resolution. I posit this process will, in turn, affect violence between farmers and herders.