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Autonomous Recovery and International Intervention in Comparative Perspective

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  • Jeremy Weinstein

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Abstract

There is growing recognition that significant threats to collective security emerge not only from competition among great powers, but also from the disorder, violence, and oppression wrought by governments (or occurring in the absence of effective governance) across the developing world. Scholars have responded by proposing new models of intervention—including neo-trusteeship and shared sovereignty—that respond to these failures of governance. But these calls for intervention rest on two underlying assumptions that have escaped serious consideration: the idea the countries cannot recover from conflict on their own and the argument that intervention is the best strategy for state-building. In this article, I define and describe a process of autonomous recovery in which states achieve a lasting peace, a systematic reduction in violence, and post-war political and economic development in the absence of international intervention. I offer a series of theoretical reasons to take it seriously and use case studies of recovery in Uganda, Eritrea, and Somalia to demonstrate how it works in practice. I conclude by identifying three tradeoffs—for the country on the receiving end of intervention—that policymakers confront when weighing whether and how to respond to internal conflict.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeremy Weinstein, 2005. "Autonomous Recovery and International Intervention in Comparative Perspective," Working Papers 57, Center for Global Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:57
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    File URL: http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/2731
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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2009. "Civil War: A Review of Fifty Years of Research," Working Papers id:2231, eSocialSciences.
    2. Berger, Daniel & Corvalan, Alejandro & Easterly, William & Satyanath, Shanker, 2013. "Do superpower interventions have short and long term consequences for democracy?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 22-34.
    3. William Easterly, 2009. "Can the West Save Africa?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 373-447.
    4. McDougal Topher L, 2009. "The Liberian State of Emergency: What Do Civil War and State-Led Industrialization Have in Common?," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3), pages 1-28, March.
    5. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 3-57.
    6. William Easterly & Shanker Satyanath & Daniel Berger, 2008. "Superpower Interventions and their Consequences for Democracy: An Empirical Inquiry," NBER Working Papers 13992, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Alix-Garcia, Jennifer & Bartlett, Anne & Saah, David, 2012. "Displaced Populations, Humanitarian Assistance and Hosts: A Framework for Analyzing Impacts on Semi-urban Households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 373-386.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    security; violence; conflict; state-building; peace; economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • F52 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - National Security; Economic Nationalism

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