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Buying peace or fuelling war: the role of corruption in armed conflicts

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  • Philippe Le Billon

    (Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)

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    Abstract

    Although corruption may have a corrosive effect on economies and rule-based institutions, it also forms part of the fabric of social and political relationships. This endogenous character means that conflict may be engendered more by changes in the pattern of corruption than by the existence of corruption itself. Such changes, frequently associated with domestic or external shocks, can lead to armed conflict as increasingly violent forms of competitive corruption between factions 'fuel war' by rewarding belligerents. Controversially, 'buying-off' belligerents can facilitate a transition to peace; but 'sticks' such as economic sanctions, rather than 'carrots', have dominated international conflict resolution instruments. While 'buying peace' can present a short-term solution, the key challenge for peace-building initiatives and fiscal reforms is to shift individual incentives and rewards away from the competition for immediate corrupt gains. This may be facilitated by placing public revenues under international supervision during peace processes. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jid.993
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 413-426

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:15:y:2003:i:4:p:413-426

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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    1. Christian Harm & Joshua Charap, 1999. "Institutionalized Corruption and the Kleptocratic State," IMF Working Papers 99/91, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Mauro, Paolo, 1998. "Corruption and the composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 263-279, June.
    3. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
    4. Sanjeev Gupta, 1998. "Does Corruption Affect Income Inequality and Poverty?," IMF Working Papers 98/76, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:
    1. Kjetil Bjorvatn & Alireza Naghavi, 2010. "Rent seekers in rentier states: When greed brings peace," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 039, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics.
    2. Igor Abramov, 2009. "Building Peace in Fragile States – Building Trust is Essential for Effective Public–Private Partnerships," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 89(4), pages 481-494, March.
    3. Kjetil Bjorvatn & Mohammad Reza Farzanegan, 2014. "Resource Rents, Power, and Political Stability," CESifo Working Paper Series 4727, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. David M Malone & Heiko Nitzschke, 2010. "Economic Agendas in Civil Wars: What We Know, What We Need to Know," Working Papers id:3226, eSocialSciences.
    5. James Boyce, 2007. "Public Finance, Aid and Post-Conflict Recovery," Working Papers wp140, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    6. Horatiu Rus, 2010. "Corruption, Conflict and the Management of Natural Resources," Working Papers 1005, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised May 2010.
    7. Bjorvatn, Kjetil & Naghavi, Alireza, 2011. "Rent seeking and regime stability in rentier states," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 740-748.

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