Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2015

Department 1

Political Science


The state of the environment is receiving increasing attention. Environmental quality’s possible relationship to violent conflict attracts both popular and academic interest. Prior research has found support for the idea that environmental scarcity is related to higher occurrences of civil war. There have been few comprehensive quantitative studies regarding this relationship. This study tests a more general argument that higher environmental quality can lead to fewer occurrences of internal armed conflict. The study utilizes an environmental performance index found in the Quality of Government Standard Dataset to test its hypothesis. The study finds that the higher the environmental performance index of a state, the lower the annual incidence of internal armed conflict. The relationship found in this study should inspire further research on the relationship between environmental quality and civil war. Further attention to this subject may encourage increased priority toward environmental policy to prevent the incidence of civil war.


This paper was written for Professor Caroline Hartzell's course, POL 351: The Political Economy of Armed Conflict, Fall 2015.