WIDER Seminar Series

Marijke Verpoorten on aggrieved artisanal miners in Eastern Congo

Marijke Verpoorten will present at the WIDER Seminar Series on 11 March 

Abstract - Would you fight? We asked aggrieved artisanal miners in Eastern Congo 

To meet the rising demand for minerals, mining companies have ventured into conflict-affected areas, often at the expense of artisanal miners. This has led to grievances, and at times violence. Who among the aggrieved intend to use violence? How can peace be maintained?

This paper uses individual-level data to address these questions. Among a sample of 469 about-to-be-evicted miners, we inquire about the intention to engage in several forms of violence. We then identify how this intention varies with miners’ past exposure to violence and attitudes towards policies that seek social peace. A large proportion of miners intends to engage in the destruction of the company’s property, attack its employees, use fire arms, or join an armed group. These would-be-fighters are motivated by grievances, as well as material and social incentives.

Our results contribute to understanding the micro-motivations underpinning the local resource curse and entail concrete lessons for mining policies.

About the speaker

Marijke Verpoorten is associate professor at IOB - the Institute of Development Policy, University of Antwerp, Belgium. She is also associated with LICOS at the University of Leuven. Her research focuses on economic and institutional development, with a thematic focus on armed conflict; and a geographic focus on Africa’s Great Lakes Region.