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Household entitlements during wartime: The experience of Sri Lanka

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  • Meghan O'Sullivan

Abstract

Conventional ways of viewing conflict as destructive and irrational have constrained the thinking of policy makers about the possibility of constructive intervention and development strategies during wartime. This paper, in looking at the experience of Sri Lanka, considers various policy choices, as well as their costs, open to some governments during times of strife. Evidence from Sri Lanka refutes the notion that government services cannot be effective in wartime while simultaneously drawing attention to the role that alternative societal structures play in alleviating human costs. This paper demonstrates that a complex network of providers of market, public, and civil entitlements can evolve in certain wartime contexts and identifies how the mode of warfare employed can create or destroy such a possibility. The study concludes that the opportunities for constructive policy making during wartime are greater— and the responsibilities of the agents at war broader—than is commonly thought.

Suggested Citation

  • Meghan O'Sullivan, 1997. "Household entitlements during wartime: The experience of Sri Lanka," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 95-121.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:25:y:1997:i:1:p:95-121
    DOI: 10.1080/13600819708424124
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edirisinghe, Neville, 1987. "The food stamp scheme in Sri Lanka: costs, benefits, and options for modification," Research reports 58, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Paul Collier, 1995. "Civil war and the economies of the peace dividend," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1995-08, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Paul Collier, 1995. "Civil war and the economies of the peace dividend," CSAE Working Paper Series 1995-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    4. repec:fth:oxesaf:95-8 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Arunatilake, Nisha & Jayasuriya, Sisira & Kelegama, Saman, 2001. "The Economic Cost of the War in Sri Lanka," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(9), pages 1483-1500, September.
    2. Korf, Benedikt, 2003. "Conflict - Threat or Opportunity? War, Livelihoods, and Vulnerability in Sri Lanka," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 18837, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.

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