On Conflict and Development


1. Conflict and Development (Routledge, second edition, 2016)

Roger MacGinty and Andrew Williams

Over the past decade, a new awareness of the relationship between conflicts and development has grown.  This book explores the complex links between violent conflict (usually civil wars) and development, under-development and uneven development.  Specifically, it examines the role of poverty, state, market, civil society, globalization, humanitarian aid, refuges, gender and health within conflict. The book also investigates specific development issues emerging during conflict management and post conflict reconstruction. By drawing on contemporary theoretical debates and examining current policies and events, it considers how peace making, peace building, and post-war reconstruction are usually more sustainable and successful if politicians, policy makers, entrepreneurs and those working for international NGOs seriously consider local opinion and capacity. The text is illuminated throughout with case studies drawn from Africa, the Balkans, Asia and the Middle East.

2. Between Development and Destruction: An Enquiry into the Causes of Conflict in Post-Colonial States (Palgrave 2016)

Edited by  Kumar Rupesinghe, Paul Sciarone, Luc van de Goor

The ongoing disengagement of East and West from Cold-War politics has resulted in an unstable international political situation characterized by regional conflicts. Most analyses now concentrate on the consequences for Europe and the former communist Central and East European states. In this edited volume, however, the contributors provide major theoretical analyses of the causes of conflict in developing countries. Four main factors are distinguished: the processes of state-formation and nation-building; the rise or return of ethnicity and nationalism; socio-economic factors; and the armaments-conflict nexus. The volume also provides in-depth regional analyses, as well as policy perspectives on the issue of conflict and development.

3. Introduction: Eight Myths of Conflict and Development in the Middle East

Jan Selby and Mariz Tadros

The authors of this issue of the International Development Studies Bulletin aim to identify eight myths of conflict and development related to the Middle East region. Some of these myths, which cut across academia, foreign policy and development interventions, are specific to the Middle East; others are "global" myths that regional developments contradict. The myths are: 1) that there is a unilinear model of development; 2) that low development and violent conflict are natural bedfellows; 3) that there is an alternative rentier path of development; 4) that fragile statehood is the main institutional cause of violence; 5) that environmental scarcities are an increasingly important contributor to conflict; 6) that countries need to pass a number of milestones on a democratization pathway; 7) that more humanitarian aid will contain the Syrian refugee crisis; and 8) that, following the Arab Spring, people's agency has been defeated.

4. Arts as a Vehicle for Community Building and Post-disaster Development.

E. Huss, R. Kaufman, A. Avgar, and E. Shuker

Use of the arts in international aid is common in an ad hoc form, but it has not been systematically theorized or evaluated. The arts have the potential to be a culturally contextualised and sustainable intervention for adults and children in the aftermath of war or disaster. On the micro level, the arts are a method to enable the retrieval and reprocessing of traumatic memories that are often encoded in images rather than in words. On a macro level, they can help to reconstruct a group narrative of a disaster as well as mobilise people back into control of their lives. This paper researches a long-term project using arts in Sri Lanka following the civil war and tsunami. A central finding is the need to understand arts within their cultural context, and their usefulness in strengthening the voices and problem-solving capacities of the victims of the disaster.

5. The Legacies of Armed Conflict on Lasting Peace and Development in Latin America

Annika Rettberg

This article in the UN Chronicle discusses how it has been widely documented that the relationship between armed conflict and development is circular. On the one hand, conflicts have been more frequent in less developed countries. On the other hand, in the course of conflict, conditions favorable to development tend to deteriorate, causing new conflicts to emerge and old ones to linger. Even when armed conflicts end, by military or negotiated means, the legacies of violent confrontation remain. These legacies include the atrophy of crucial social institutions, weak democratic regimes, corrupt practices in the distribution of natural resources, the ongoing circulation of weapons and the transformation or proliferation of crime. In sum, conflicts have lasting negative impacts on society. Latin America is particularly well suited for the exploration of armed conflict and development, and the challenges this poses for lasting peace. Once marked by several lasting armed conflicts in countries such as Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Peru, the region was recently on the brink of witnessing the oldest and last of the armed conflicts in the hemisphere.