This research endeavors to contribute to the literature on weapons availability and armed conflict. To date, scholars have been unable to overcome endogeneity problems to conclusively show if armed conflict breaks out where weapons are easily available or if weapons flow to areas that are on the verge of conflict onset. By employing a natural experiment that 'as if' randomly assigns weapons availability at a sub-national level, we hope to gain leverage on this question.
This research leverages a natural experimental design to exploit ‘as if’ random assignment to treatment and control groups. It is undergirded by extensive quantitative and qualitative data collected during approximately a year of overseas field research in Peru by Barnett Koven.