Rethinking the Economics of War: The Intersection of Need, Creed, and Greed

Oct 25, 2005

Rethinking the Economics of War: The Intersection of Need, Creed, and Greed

New Book from the Woodrow Wilson Center Press Highlights Deprivation and Discrimination as Origins of Armed Conflict

The Woodrow Wilson Center Press and The Johns Hopkins University Press have published a new book, Rethinking the Economics of War: The Intersection of Need, Creed, and Greed, edited by Cynthia J. Arnson and I. William Zartman.

Rethinking the Economics of War: The Intersection of Need, Creed, and Greed questions the adequacy of explaining today's internal armed conflicts purely in terms of economic factors and reestablishes the importance of identity and grievances in creating and sustaining such wars. This collection of essays responds to current works asserting that the income from natural resources is the end and not just a means for warring rebel groups. The study puts greed in its place and restores the importance of deprivation and discrimination as the primary causes of armed conflict within states. Countries studied include Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Angola, the Republic of the Congo, Colombia, and Afghanistan.

Chapters include: "The Political Economy of War: Situating the Debate," Cynthia J. Arnson; "Trafficking, Rents, and Diaspora in the Lebanese War," Elizabeth Picard; "The Evolution of Internal War in Peru: The Conjunction of Need, Creed, and Organizational Finance," Cynthia McClintock; "The Criminalization of the RUF Insurgency in Sierra Leone," Jimmy D. Kandeh; "Resource Wealth and Angola's Civil Wars," Philippe Le Billon; "The Democratic Republic of the Congo: Structures of Greed, Networks of Need," Erik Kennes; "Economic Resources and Internal Armed Conflicts: Lessons from the Colombian Case," Marc Chernick; "Surviving State Failure: Internal War and Regional Conflict in Afghanistan's Neighborhood," Paula R. Newberg; "Economic Factors in Civil Wars: Policy Considerations," David M. Malone and Jake Sherman, and "Need, Creed, and Greed in Intrastate Conflict," I. William Zartman.

"This book develops an important new insight into conflict prevention—the need to bring conflicts born of deprivation and discrimination to an early end before they become stuck in the intractability brought on by greed. It also highlights that greed on the part of governments is often what underlies the deprivation and discrimination that starts the conflict in the first place."—Jan Eliasson, Ambassador of Sweden, President of the Sixtieth General Assembly of the United Nations

"This book provides a valuable synthesis of recent ideas across a range of disciplines. It should become a core work on the subject." — Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford

Rethinking the Economics of War: The Intersection of Need, Creed, and Greed is distributed by The Johns Hopkins University Press. The price is $55.00 for hardcover and $22.95 for paperback.

Cynthia J. Arnson is Deputy Director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. I. William Zartman is Jacob Blaustein Professor of International Organizations and Conflict Resolution and Director of the Conflict Management Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

For more information, please contact: Cynthia Arnson, 202-691-4072

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