Ungoverned spaces and armed civil conflicts: the predicament of developing nations
Munyua, David O.
Warren, T. Camber
Rice, Ian C.
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Several developing nations are grappling with the phenomenon of ungoverned territories, which are believed to be harboring insurgent, terrorist, and other armed violent groups. This study investigates how a developing nation can use its resources to reduce violent activities and, consequently, ungoverned spaces from within its sovereign territory. The study uses geo-referenced violent events data as a measure of violence and spatiotemporal data for law enforcement agencies (LEAs), social services, and economic infrastructure as measures of state authority. All data is specific to Uganda. Using multi-regression models (negative binomial and matched wake analysis), the study employs interpolated spatiotemporal data to estimate the effects of state authority factors on violent events over space and time. The findings show that LEAs, including police, prisons, courts, and border protection, are the most effective in reducing violence and therefore ungoverned territories. Save for schools and local governments, social services like health centers, and economic infrastructure like roads, tend to be associated with increased levels of violence. The policy implication for developing nations is therefore to consider directing their resources toward building their LEAs before or concurrently with socioeconomic services in order to reduce violence emanating from ungoverned spaces.
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