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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Martha Starr, 2006. "Growth and conflict in the developing world: Neo-liberal narratives and social-economy alternatives," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 64(2), pages 205-224.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:64:y:2006:i:2:p:205-224
    DOI: 10.1080/00346760600721130
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    growth; violent conflict; social economics;

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