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The Security Factor in The Political Economy of Development


  • Martin C. McGuire


A country’s judiciary, police, and security forces are essential to protect the State from external aggression. By virtue of the State’s monopoly of coercion, they maintain a stable legal framework and the safety of persons and property. All these activities enhance a society’s productivity, but they also sustain the particular political regime—and its redistributive ethic—in power. They absorb resources, but they also waste them, since security forces tend to be rent-seekers. This paper analyzes both the productive and the unproductive side of security provision and shows that the balance depends on the nature of the political regime.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin C. McGuire, 1998. "The Security Factor in The Political Economy of Development," IMF Working Papers 98/33, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:98/33

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