Insurgency and credible commitment in autocracies and democracies
AbstractThis paper suggests a new factor that makes civil war more likely: the inability of political actors to make credible promises to broad segments of society. Lacking this ability, both elected and unelected governments pursue public policies that leave citizens less well-off and more prone to revolt. At the same time, these actors have a reduced ability to build an anti-insurgency capacity in the first place, since they are less able to prevent anti-insurgents from themselves mounting coups. But while reducing the risk of conflict overall, increasing credibility can, over some range, worsen the effects of natural resources and ethnic fragmentation on civil war. Empirical tests using various measures of political credibility support these conclusions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4185.
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Population Policies; Parliamentary Government; Economic Theory&Research; Social Conflict and Violence; Politics and Government;
Other versions of this item:
- Philip Keefer, 2008. "Insurgency and Credible Commitment in Autocracies and Democracies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 22(1), pages 33-61, January.
- NEP-ALL-2007-04-09 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2007-04-09 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-DEV-2007-04-09 (Development)
- NEP-POL-2007-04-09 (Positive Political Economics)
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