The logics of conflict in the DRC: from the mineral to the checkpoint economy

Season 2, Episode 5,   May 04, 2021, 12:28 PM

An investigation into a changing political economy

Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has long been associated with mineral wealth. Indeed, the country is hugely rich in natural resources - and this has played an important incentivising role in the conflicts seen over the last three decades. But this is by no means the whole picture. And a one-sided focus on minerals alone can lose sight of other important dimensions. 

In this episode, we explore the changing nature of the political economy of violence in the DRC. We outline the connections between local and global factors in fuelling the 'mineral wars'. But we also explore the new phenomenon of rebel financing: the role of checkpoints, showing how this also elicits linkages between globalisation and local political economies. We argue checkpoints provide an important window into governance practices in the DRC - and a greater awareness of this aspect, and its nuances, can help generate policy-making that is receptive to local conditions. 

Featuring, Lys Kulamadayil, a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Amsterdam, Peer Schouten, a Senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies, Godefroid Muzalia Kihangu, professor at the department of History and Social Science at the Higher Education Institute of Bukavu, and Bienvenu Mukungilwa, a research assistant with the CERUKI at the Higher Education Institute of Bukavu. 

Producers: Luke Cooper, Azaria Morgan
Sound editor: Camilo Tirado 
Translation and production support: Henry Radice, LSE, Kasper Hoffman, Ghent University 

Intro music: The Drama by Rafael Krux (used for education purposes under Creative Commons License).   

This podcast series has been funded by the UK government’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as part of the LSE Conflict Research Programme. The ideas expressed in the podcast do not necessarily reflect the views or policy positions of the UK Government/FCDO.