Conflict in Africa: The Cost of Peaceful Behaviour
Journal of African Economies 11(3):365-386. (2002) DOI: 10.1093/jae/11.3.365
Posted: 28 Oct 2014
Date Written: February 2002
War provides economic opportunities, such as the capture of valuable natural resources, that are unavailable in peacetime. However, belligerents may prefer low-intensity conflict to total war when the former has a greater pay-off. This paper therefore uses a two-actor model to capture the continuum from total war to complete peace that often characterises Africa's conflicts. This is in contrast to the existing literature, with its focus on mutually exclusive states of total war or complete peace, an assumption which is more relevant to Europe's inter-state wars than to Africa's civil wars. The paper also discusses ways to change the economic incentives of belligerents so that their behaviour becomes more peaceful.
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