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dc.contributor.advisorJamal, Amaney-
dc.contributor.authorLin, Erin-
dc.contributor.otherPolitics Department-
dc.description.abstractPolitical scientists and economists have recently begun to explore why post-conflict political communities vary substantially in the speed and consistency with which they create economic growth following war. There are many existing explanations for this variation, including capital flight, death tolls, loss of social capital, weakened institutions, and the role of international intervention, particularly concerning issues like natural resource governance, aid flows, and military peace-keeping. I offer a new explanation. I develop a theory of whether and where agrarian economies will recover from war based on the amount of unexploded ordnance left on their land and the consequential long-term impact on rice paddy production and agricultural investment. Unexploded ordnance change people’s relationship with land, due to the fact that farming becomes a dangerous and life-threatening activity. Then, I argue that people’s adaptations to their new post-conflict geography have political consequences. Specifically, unexploded ordnance create physical barriers that limit the state’s ability to provide public goods, which negatively impacts electoral returns for the incumbent party. Drawing from a declassified dataset of US Air Force sorties flown over Cambodia during the Vietnam War, I identify the location and density of unexploded ordnance by highlighting a mechanism that is well-known in the warfare ecology literature but not elsewhere: that fertile ground provides more of a cushion for the bomb upon impact, so the trigger fuse is less likely to detonate. I show, using a range of archival and contemporary data, that in highly fertile soil, this mechanical failure still impacts land production to this day as the unexploded ordnance in the ground deter farmers from efficiently using their land. I find evidence of secondary effects on an array of economic and political variables, including household poverty, capital accumulation, distribution of state resources, and vote choice.-
dc.publisherPrinceton, NJ : Princeton University-
dc.relation.isformatofThe Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog: <a href=> </a>-
dc.subject.classificationPolitical science-
dc.titleHow War Changes Land: The legacy of US bombing on Cambodian development-
dc.typeAcademic dissertations (Ph.D.)-
Appears in Collections:Politics

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