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The Economics of Violence and Development in Post-Conflict Societies

Saavedra-Lux, Laura Michelle (2021) The Economics of Violence and Development in Post-Conflict Societies. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Despite a wealth of research on how socio-economic factors such as underdevelopment or inequality influence armed conflict, existing research has paid little attention to how micro-dynamics relating to armed violence and socio-economic factors affect post-conflict societies. This thesis builds on the observation that both socio-economic development and armed conflict vary substantially across time and space and contextualises their relationship in the post-conflict setting. Across three articles it examines the causes and effects of changes in socio-economic marginalization and the variation in armed violence at a local level. %The underlying argument emphasises civilians' collective agency in influencing trajectories of violence and socio-economic development. The first article looks at whether more equitable distribution of socio-economic development across space can reduce the risk of future armed conflict in countries emerging out of war using nightlight data to trace spatial inequality over time. Subsequent articles zoom in on this relationship at a micro level. I empirically study the case of Peru and build on data collected during fieldwork, human rights reports and historical census records. The second paper examines how wartime economies affect subnational variation in armed violence between insurgent and the state after armed conflict has come to a halt at a national level. The third article builds on the finding that post-conflict socio-economic marginalisation matters and flips the question to examine how differences in patterns of civilian victimisation affect local trajectories in socio-economic development. This thesis contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the economics of armed violence by placing a focus on the interplay between armed violence and socio-economic development across time and space within the post-conflict context. The different theoretical arguments are linked through their emphasis on the importance of civilians’ responses to adverse conditions such as marginalization and violence. The thesis also contributes to existing literature by collecting novel data and combining different methodological approaches.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Laura Saavedra-Lux
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2021 12:01
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2021 12:01

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