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Distributional Conflict, The State, and Peacebuilding in Burundi

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  • Léonce Ndikumana

Abstract

This paper examines the causes of conflict in Burundi and discusses strategies for building peace. The analysis of the complex relationships between distribution and group dynamics reveals that these relationships are reciprocal, implying that distribution and group dynamics are endogenous. The nature of endogenously generated group dynamics determines the type of preferences (altruistic or exclusionist), which in turn determines the type of allocative institutions and policies that prevail in the political and economic system. While unequal distribution of resources may be socially inefficient, it nonetheless can be rational from the perspective of the ruling elite, especially because inequality perpetuates dominance. However, because unequal distribution of resources generates conflict, maintaining a system based on inequality is difficult because it requires ever increasing investments in repression. It is therefore clear that if the new Burundian leadership is serious about building peace, it must engineer institutions that uproot the legacy of discrimination and promote equal opportunity for social mobility for all members of ethnic groups and regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Léonce Ndikumana, 2005. "Distributional Conflict, The State, and Peacebuilding in Burundi," Working Papers wp105, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • Handle: RePEc:uma:periwp:wp105
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ndikumana, Leonce, 2004. "Additionality of debt relief and debt forgiveness, and implications for future volumes of official assistance," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, pages 325-340.
    2. Paul Collier, 2000. "How to Reduce Corruption," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 12(2), pages 191-205.
    3. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    5. Grossman, Herschel I, 1999. "Kleptocracy and Revolutions," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 267-283, April.
    6. Paul Collier, 2000. "Ethnicity, Politics and Economic Performance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 225-245, November.
    7. Kisangani Emizet & Léonce Ndikumana, 2003. "The Economics of Civil War: The Case of the Democratic Republic of Congo," Working Papers wp63, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    8. Ndikumana, Leonce, 2001. "Fiscal Policy, Conflict, and Reconstruction in Burundi and Rwanda," WIDER Working Paper Series 062, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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    Cited by:

    1. Curtis, Devon E. A., 2014. "Local agency, development assistance and the legacies of rebellion in Burundi and Rwanda," WIDER Working Paper Series 128, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Esteban Pérez Caldentey & Matías Vernengo, 2013. "Is inflation targeting operative in an open economy setting?," Review of Keynesian Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, pages 347-369.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Burundi; ethnicity; civil war; distributional conflict;

    JEL classification:

    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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