Energy, fragility and conflict

This short note provides a summary overview of the relationship between energy, fragility and conflict and explores four research areas withn the topic area. This first section starts by defining the key terms and framing the overall discussion. The second section outlines specific elements of the relationship relevant to the research areas identified for the Energy and Economic Growth (EEG) Research Programme and suggests tentative research questions for further analysis.

The discussion is based on a short, light-touch literature review of open-access, online sources. This review found a small and generally low quality theoretical or empirical research explicitly exploring the relationship between fragility, conflict and energy, which mirrors the finding of one other review on a similar topic (USAID 2010). The briefing note is therefore based mostly on inferences made from related policy and academic literatures (for example, economic growth, investment decisions, and governance), relevant news media, and the author’s own reflections on how these might apply to the energy sector.

Robert Morris