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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the relationship between civil conflict and development. After outlining definitions of conflict and development, it considers a number of explanations of why they are empirically related. The extent to which conflict, such as civil war, is due to development is discussed, along with how conflict affects development. The article then describes the routes through which conflict reduces development, namely destruction, disruption, diversion, and dis-saving. It also considers why development reduces the risk of conflict, paying particular attention to poverty as motivation for conflict, opportunities for violence entrepreneurs, poor state capacity, decreased lootability in diversified economies, higher costs to violence in densely interacting societies, indirect effect through political institutions, and education and the cognitive ability to maintain peaceful relations. The article concludes by assessing future prospects for the conflict–development linkage, as well as the role of development in reducing incidences of armed conflict worldwide.

Keywords: civil conflict, development, destruction, dis-saving, poverty, violence, political institutions, education, armed conflict, civil war

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