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From Conflict to Reconstruction: Reviving the Social Contract

  • Tony Addison

    ()

  • S Mansoob Murshed

Contemporary civil wars are rooted in a partial or complete breakdown of the social contract, often involving disputes over public spending, resource revenues, and taxation. A feasible social contract gives potential rebels something akin to a transfer. When this is improbable, and the potential spoils are rich then warfare is more likely. Grievances, not just pure greed, motivate war. But peace deals can also break down when commitments are not credible. Successful reconstruction after war must rebuild the social contract. The chances of success increase if the economy can achieve broad- based growth. If grievances can be satisfied by absolute improvements in living standards the present donor focus on absolute poverty reduction will be conducive to reviving the social contract. But if grievances are expressed in relative terms, governments and donors must also address inequality and regional gaps. [Discussion Paper No.2001/48]

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Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:3206.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:3206
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  1. Jean-Paul Azam, 2001. "The redistributive state and conflicts in Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2001-03, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Robert H. Bates, 2000. "Ethnicity and Development in Africa: A Reappraisal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 131-134, May.
  3. repec:ltr:wpaper:1999.10 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Azam, Jean-Paul & Mesnard, Alice, 2003. " Civil War and the Social Contract," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 115(3-4), pages 455-75, June.
  5. Addison, Tony & Murshed, S. Mansoob, 2001. "Credibility and Reputation in Peacemaking," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  6. 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.
  7. Skaperdas, S., 1991. "Cooperation, Conflict And Power In The Absence Of Property Rights," Papers 90-91-06a, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  8. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
  9. Garfinkel, M.R. & Skaperdas, S., 2000. "Contract or War? On the Consequences of a Broader View of Self-Interest in Economics," Papers 99-00-12, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
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