Peace and the Public Purse: Economic Policies for Postwar Statebuilding

In the aftermath of violent conflict, how do the economic challenges of statebuilding intersect with the political challenges of peacebuilding? How can the international community help lay the fiscal foundations for a sustainable state and a durable peace? In their new edited volume, Peace and the Public Purse, James Boyce, (Director of PERI’s Development, Peacebuilding, & the Environment Program), and Madalene O’Donnell (United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations) lift the curtain that often has separated economic policy from peace implementation. Postwar governments face immediate demands for restoration of basic services, jobs, and public security. To raise revenues to meet these pressing needs, they must contend with local powerbrokers who levy their own informal taxes, economic elites determined to retain special privileges and immunities, and a populace skeptical about the state’s ability to deliver services in return for taxes. Drawing on recent experiences in war-torn societies such as Uganda, Cambodia, Bosnia, Guatemala, Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, and Palestine, this book brings to life a key dimension of how peace and states are built.