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Civil Wars and Poverty: the Role of External Interventions, Political Rights and Economic Growth

Title: Civil Wars and Poverty: the Role of External Interventions, Political Rights and Economic Growth
Author: Ibrahim Elbadawi
Pub. Date: June 1, 1999
Full Text: Adobe Acrobat (PDF) [275 KB]   

Peacebuilding can improve the prospects that a civil war will be resolved. Although peacebuilding strategies must be designed to address particular conflicts, broad parameters that fit most conflicts can be identified. Strategies should address the local roots of hostility; the local capacities for change; and the (net) specific degree of international commitment available to assist change. One can conceive of these as the three dimensions of a triangle, whose area is the “political space”—or effective capacity—for building peace. In this article, we outline some of the challenges of expanding the space for peace and the strategies to achieve such a goal. The article poses as many new questions as it answers, though it points to a fruitful way to conceptualize peace and to analyze the role of the international community in resolving civil wars.




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