War, peace, and development

J. Paul Dunne

Abstract


Historically, peace and security have been important issues in economics. Yet for contemporary economics, issues of peace and security are marginal, and economists are conspicuous by their absence in debates to a degree that rivals the importance of the problems. Strikingly, economics textbooks in general, and development economics textbooks in particular, seldom give consideration to violent conflicts despite the dreadful impact they have on populations in the very poorest of countries. Similarly, they seldom deal with issues of peace and post-war reconstruction despite their importance for successful development. This article reviews some achievements within the economics of peace and security field and considers how our understanding of the preparation for violent conflict and the determinants and costs of conflict has been improved by research and what this might entail for some of the challenges ahead. In particular, the article identifies the challenge of constructing a peace economics that will allow for the design of economic systems that embed peace and overcome many of the conditions that continue to maintain the prevalence of violent conflict around the world.

Keywords


War; civil war; peace; reconstruction; arms industry; arms trade

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15355/epsj.12.2.21

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