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Breaking the Conflict Trap : Civil War and Development Policy

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Author Info

  • Paul Collier
  • V. L. Elliott
  • Håvard Hegre
  • Anke Hoeffler
  • Marta Reynal-Querol
  • Nicholas Sambanis

Abstract

Most wars are now civil wars. Even though international wars attract enormous global attention, they have become infrequent and brief. Civil wars usually attract less attention, but they have become increasingly common and typically go on for years. This report argues that civil war is now an important issue for development. War retards development, but conversely, development retards war. This double causation gives rise to virtuous and vicious circles. Where development succeeds, countries become progressively safer from violent conflict, making subsequent development easier. Where development fails, countries are at high risk of becoming caught in a conflict trap in which war wrecks the economy and increases the risk of further war. The global incidence of civil war is high because the international community has done little to avert it. Inertia is rooted in two beliefs: that we can safely 'let them fight it out among themselves' and that 'nothing can be done' because civil war is driven by ancestral ethnic and religious hatreds. The purpose of this report is to challenge these beliefs.

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File URL: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/13938/567930PUB0brea10Box353739B01PUBLIC1.pdf?sequence=1
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Bibliographic Info

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This book is provided by The World Bank in its series World Bank Publications with number 13938 and published in 2003.

ISBN: 0-8213-5481-7
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:13938

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Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
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Web page: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org
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Related research

Keywords: Conflict and Development - Post Conflict Reconstruction Health; Nutrition and Population - Population Policies Urban Development - Hazard Risk Management Peace and Peacekeeping Conflict and Development - International Affairs;

References

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  1. Paul Collier, 1994. "Demobilization and insecurity: A study in the economics of the transition from war to peace," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(3), pages 343-351, 05.
  2. Andre, Catherine & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1998. "Land relations under unbearable stress: Rwanda caught in the Malthusian trap," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-47, January.
  3. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2002. "Coping with poor public capital," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 51-69, October.
  4. Elbadawi, Ibrahim A. & Sambanis, Nicholas, 2000. "External interventions and the duration of civil wars," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 2433, The World Bank.
  5. Walter, Barbara F., 1997. "The Critical Barrier to Civil War Settlement," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(03), pages 335-364, June.
  6. Chaudhury, Nazmul & Hammer, Jeffrey S., 2003. "Ghost doctors - absenteeism in Bangladeshi health facilities," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 3065, The World Bank.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  8. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  9. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  10. Hammer, Jeffrey S, 1993. "The Economics of Malaria Control," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 8(1), pages 1-22, January.
  11. Harvey, Charles, 1992. "Botswana: Is the Economic Miracle Over?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 1(3), pages 335-68, November.
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