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Tackling Civil Unrest: Policing or Redistribution?

Author

Listed:
  • Patricia Justino

    () (Institute of Development Studies)

Abstract

There is much evidence to suggest that economic and social factors are major causes of civil unrest. However, governments often resort to the use of police and military to tackle such upheavals, rather than using policies that directly address the causes of discontent. This briefing uses data from India to compare the effectiveness of redistributive transfers and policing in reducing conflict. It finds that transfers have a significant effect on the prevention and reduction of civil unrest, particularly in the medium term. While policing reduces conflict in the short term, the continued use of police has either inconsequential effects, or even leads to increases in rioting. These findings have important lessons for other countries where social cohesion breaks frequently, but large-scale conflict may be avoidable.

Suggested Citation

  • Patricia Justino, 2008. "Tackling Civil Unrest: Policing or Redistribution?," Policy Briefings 2, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcn:polbrf:2
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    File URL: http://www.microconflict.eu/publications/PB2_PJ.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2008
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transfers; policing; conflict; unrest; India;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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