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Growth and conflict in the developing world: Neo-liberal narratives and social-economy alternatives

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  • Martha Starr

Abstract

The last quarter of the 20th century saw an increase in violent conflicts across the globe. With connections between growth, poverty and conflict increasingly difficult to ignore, research has begun examining economic dimensions of conflict. This paper reviews and critiques this new research, much of it conducted by the World Bank. The research argues that war results from poverty, and poverty from misguided economic policies, so that reducing conflict requires redoubling efforts to promote growth via neo-liberal reforms. I criticize the conceptual underpinnings of this argument, including its overemphasis on individual incentives and its claim that social and economic injustices do not contribute to violent conflicts. Instead I argue that social economics provides valuable alternative perspectives on conflict that take seriously its social dimensions, especially problems of economic justice and the common good.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Review of Social Economy.

Volume (Year): 64 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 205-224

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Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:64:y:2006:i:2:p:205-224

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Related research

Keywords: growth; violent conflict; social economics;

References

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  1. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2002. "AID, Policy and Peace: Reducing the risks of civil conflict," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(6), pages 435-450.
  2. Ernst Fehr & Simon G�chter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
  3. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 1998. "The Evolution of Strong Reciprocity," Research in Economics 98-08-073e, Santa Fe Institute.
  4. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke & Soderbom, Mans, 2001. "On the duration of civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2681, The World Bank.
  5. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2002. "Aid, policy, and growth in post-conflict societies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2902, The World Bank.
  6. David George, 1998. "Coping Rationally with Unpreferred Preferences," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 181-194, Spring.
  7. Joseph Henrich, 2001. "In Search of Homo Economicus: Behavioral Experiments in 15 Small-Scale Societies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 73-78, May.
  8. Vladimer Papava, 2005. "On the theory of post-Communist economic transition to market," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(1/2), pages 77-97, January.
  9. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
  10. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
  11. repec:att:wimass:9309 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Edward O'Boyle, 2005. "Homo Socio-Economicus: Foundational to social economics and the social economy," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 63(3), pages 483-507.
  13. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  14. Samuel Bowles & Astrid Hopfensitz, 2000. "The Co-evolution of Individual Behaviors and Social Institutions," Working Papers 00-12-073, Santa Fe Institute.
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