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CONTEMPORARY VIOLENT CONFLICT S Mansoob Murshed Institute of Social Studies, the Netherlands and the

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They may be correlated to significant income inequalities between groups. ... are many examples of diffuse economies in civil war, Sri Lanka, Burundi, Rwanda. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: CONTEMPORARY VIOLENT CONFLICT S Mansoob Murshed Institute of Social Studies, the Netherlands and the


1
CONTEMPORARY VIOLENT CONFLICT S Mansoob
Murshed Institute of Social Studies, the
Netherlands and the University of Birmingham,
UK Murshed_at_iss.nl
2
Slide 1 Types of internal violence against/by
the state
  • Genocide is a systematic attempt to physically
    eliminate a particular ethnic, religious or
    linguistic group. They may be correlated to
    significant income inequalities between groups.
  • Secessionist Wars refer to areas struggling to
    separate from the centre, usually containing sons
    of the soil dynamics. These wars have the longest
    duration on an average.
  • Revolutions attempts to overthrow the state by
    armed force. They can be sub-divided into
  • coups d'etat short duration
  • Rebellions against the state, for example the
    Maoist insurgency in Nepal, Colombia, Peru.
  • Internationalised Conflict when neighbouring
    countries or other external powers are involved.

3
Slide 2 The Duration of Civil Wars
  • The number of countries embroiled in a civil war
    increased up to 1994, and has since declined
    (Hegre, 2004).
  • But the average duration of civil wars, standing
    at 16 years in 1999, does not exhibit a downward
    trend (Fearon, 2004).
  • The number of fatalities in civil war may be
    declining recently, but the numbers of refugees
    and internally displaced persons is rising.

4
Slide 3 Causes of Civil War
  • Cold war and super-power rivalry.
  • Are civil wars rational?
  • Cannot really be, as negotiated settlements are
    superior.
  • Bounded versus universal rationality.
  • Pre-meditated acts.
  • Rational Choice Civil wars over natural
    resources or collective grievance.
  • 4

5
Slide 4 Civil wars over natural resources or
collective grievance
  • Collier and Hoeffler Greed (opportunities)
    disguised as grievance (constraints).
  • Stewart Horizontal inequality.
  • Ethnicity
  • powerful organising principle for collective
    action.
  • Resolves collective action problems.

6
Slide 5 Grievance and horizontal inequality
  • Discrimination in Public Spending and Taxation.
  • Discrimination in the allocation of public
    spending
  • Discrimination in the allocation of public
    employment
  • over taxation of smallholders encourages
    insurrection
  • discrimination in access to schooling, health
    care, and public-sector jobs.
  • Where there are inter-group fiscal transfers,
    commitment to the transfer by those in power may
    be imperfect. This lack of credibility of the
    transfer can eventually lead to civil war.
  • 6

7
Slide 6 Grievance (2)
  • High Asset Inequality.
  • Agrarian societies with high income
    inequalityfor example El Salvador, Guatemala,
    Nepal, the Philippines, and Zimbabwehave high
    asset inequality, and are very prone to conflict.
  • Asset redistribution such as land reform to
    lessen inequality is more difficult than public
    finance reform.
  • 7

8
Slide 7 Grievance (3)
  • Economic Mismanagement and Recession.
  • Economic mismanagement is often associated with
    an uneven and unfair distribution of the burdens
    of subsequent adjustment.
  • 8

9
Slide 8 Greed Natural Resource Wars
  • Collier and Hoeffler (2004) find empirical
    evidence that a relatively high dependence on
    primary commodity exports is associated with
    conflict. This finding is not robust as a cause
    of civil war, see Ross (2004).
  • Natural resources constitute 'booty' and this has
    been used to emphasise the greed motivation for
    civil war.
  • Lootable, obstructable mineral resources are not
    the initial cause of the start of civil wars, but
    once started these wars tend to persist for a
    long time, as the rents from these help to
    finance war are a source of profit.

10
Slide 9 Saliency of the typology of the Economy
  • Point Source Economies
  • these refer mainly to mineral exporting
    economies. Included are coffee/cocoa and crops
    that lead to the production of illegal substances
    such as heroin and cocaine. Such commodities are
    closely linked to civil war, as some are readily
    lootable (alluvial diamonds, drugs say) or
    obstructable (oil pipelines for example).
  • Oil, in particular, is found to cause civil war,
    and lootable commodities are found to help
    perpetuate civil war (Ross, 2004).
  • 10

11
Slide 10 Typology of the economy (2)
  • Diffuse Economies these countries principally
    export agricultural commodities other than those
    enumerated above. According to Ross (2004) these
    economies are not systematically linked to civil
    war, but despite this there are many examples of
    diffuse economies in civil war, Sri Lanka,
    Burundi, Rwanda.
  • Manufacturing Economies these countries export
    mainly manufactured goods. These economies have
    enjoyed the best economic growth rates since
    1980, as well as having some of the best
    institutions in the developing world.

12
Slide 11 Although the greed versus grievance
debate may be a useful entry point for debate.
  • The origin of the conflict is immaterial if there
    are viable dispute settling and resource sharing
    mechanisms.

13
Slide 12 Call it the Social Contract
  • Viable dispute settlement mechanisms.
  • Viable sharing mechanisms
  • Perceptions of fairness
  • Institutional functioning
  • Colonial legacies
  • Institutions degenerate
  • Or are they deliberately undermined to facilitate
    kleptocracy.
  • State failure
  • 13

14
Slide 13 Summary on Causes
  • greed and grievance are inextricably intertwined
    no matter which comes first the other is sure to
    follow.
  • Cross-sectional versus country case studies
  • Cross-sectional econometric studies yield
    different results depending on model
    specification, data-type, country coverage.
  • But one thing that is always robustly present is
    that low per-capita always significantly adds to
    the risk of conflict.
  • Country-case studies find that grievance or
    horizontal inequality is more important, by
    looking at gaps in (human) development across
    communities and regions.

15
Slide 14 Summary of causes (2)
  • Low per-capita income explains risk of conflict
    best, because it is a proxy for institutional
    failure.
  • Only a risk and not certainty. Conflict requires
    triggers
  • Internal
  • External
  • Conflict-Poverty nexus, Collier et.al (2003)
  • Poverty adds to risk of conflict
  • Conflict perpetuates poverty
  • Democracy and Conflict (Hegre et. Al.)
  • Both autocracies and democracies have a low
    conflict risk
  • Transitions between one form to another are
    associated with high conflict risk
  • 15

16
Slide 15 Why are peace treaties so difficult to
sustain? Most civil wars lead to outside powers
trying to broker peace.
  • 1. Incentive to renege on a peace deal due to
    short time horizons
  • Impatience to consume
  • High discount rates for the future
  • 2. Indivisibilities.

17
Slide 16 Peace is not easy to achieve
  • A peace agreement is robust if it is self
    enforcing, when sides believe that the post-war
    pie that they expect is greater than the value of
    continued fighting.
  • The value of compromise declines with
    indivisibilities, and also in the presence of
    spoilers with a more pessimistic view of peace.
  • 17
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