Why is it that the World Bank has failed to effectively incorporate the impact of regionalisation within its economic development strategies and policy advice for borrowing countries? This is an interesting puzzle given the increasing importance that scholarly observers, policy practitioners and development agencies have attached to regionalism and regionalisation in recent years. In the fiscal years 1995?2005, the World Bank provided only US$1.7 billion in support for regional (or multi-country) operations across the globe?this is less than 1 percent of its project and other funding overall. In South-East Asia, while the Asian Development Bank has had a particularly strong engagement with regionalism, the World Bank has only recently started to come on board with regional analysis and programs. The article proposes that the gap is due to a combination of institutional and ideological factors, and explores this proposition through a study of the World Bank in Vietnam.
Most wars are now civil wars. Even though international wars attract enormous global attention, they have become infrequent and brief. Civil wars usually attract less attention, but they have become increasingly common and typically go on for years. This report argues that civil war is now an important issue for development. War retards development, but conversely, development retards war. This double causation gives rise to virtuous and vicious circles. Where development succeeds, countries become progressively safer from violent conflict, making subsequent development easier. Where development fails, countries are at high risk of becoming caught in a conflict trap in which war wrecks the economy and increases the risk of further war. The global incidence of civil war is high because the international community has done little to avert it. Inertia is rooted in two beliefs: that we can safely ‘let them fight it out among themselves’ and that ‘nothing can be done’ because civil war is driven by ancestral ethnic and religious hatreds. The purpose of this report is to challenge these beliefs.
The conflicting relationship between peace and justice is frequently debated in the field of transitional justice. The obligation to prosecute serious crimes can contradict the measures necessary to reestablish peace among society. The predicament gives rise to a similar, though less obvious, challenge in many developing countries, where the formal justice system can be at odds with conflict management initiatives. Often, due to their inaccessibility or
incompatibility with local socio-cultural norms, official justice institutions in developing countries do not fully penetrate the whole of society. In response, conflict management and peacebuilding initiatives have proven to be more flexible and responsive to socio-political realities. While such initiatives may be more efficient in reestablishing the peace between communities in conflict, they may contradict the official law. Current policy efforts and practices in the arid lands of Kenya illustrate this dilemma. Official justice institutions have proven too weak or ill-suited to prevent or resolve conflicts between local communities. To address the prevailing tensions, local ad hoc peace initiatives have developed, which operate on the basis of local norms and include local stakeholders. Given their relative success, some high level state agents have embraced the initiatives. The Office of the President is currently drafting a national policy framework on conflict management and peacebuilding, which is in part based on the experiences in the arid lands. Such a policy framework will ultimately have to deal with a similar dilemma known from the field of
transitional justice: a decision between the establishment of peace and the application of formal justice may be required.
The two volumes of Understanding Civil War build upon the World Bank’s prior research on conflict and violence, particularly on the work of Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler, whose model of civil war onset has sparked much discussion on the relationship between conflict and development in what came to be known as the “greed” versus “grievance” debate. The authors systematically apply the Collier-Hoeffler model to 15 countries in 6 different regions of the world, using a comparative case study methodology to revise and expand upon economic models of civil war. (The countries selected are Burundi, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Sudan, Algeria, Mali, Senegal, Indonesia, Lebanon, Russian Federation, Colombia, Northern Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and the Caucasus.) The book concludes that the “greed” versus “grievance” debate should be abandoned for a more complex model that considers greed and grievance as inextricably fused motives for civil war.
After more than a decade of experience and research on financing arrangements in post conflict countries and fragile states, a consensus has emerged on at least one matter. The core objective is to build effective and legitimate governance structures that secure public confidence through provision of personal security, equal justice and the rule of law, economic well-being, and essential social services including education and health. These governance structures are necessary to ensure that countries do not turn, or turn back, to violence as a means of negotiating state-societal relations. This paper discusses a number of the weaknesses in current financing arrangements for post conflict countries and fragile states, with a focus on Official Development Assistance (ODA). We argue that tensions persist between business-as-usual development policies on the one hand and policies responsive to the demands of peace building on the other. The preferential allocation of aid to ‘good performers,’ in the name of maximizing its payoff in terms of economic growth, militates against aid to fragile and conflict-affected states. If the aim of aid is redefined to include durable peace, the conventional performance criteria for aid allocation lose much of their force. Compelling arguments can be made for assistance to ‘poor performers’ if this can help to prevent conflict. Yet the difficulties that initially prompted donors to become more selective in aid allocation remain all too real. Experience has shown that aid can exacerbate problems rather than solving them.