Theoretical Analyses of the Relationship between Poverty and Insecurity in Africa
13 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2012 Last revised: 14 May 2013
Date Written: December 9, 2012
This paper examines the basis of the theoretical interrelationships between poverty and (violent) conflicts in the context of modern African societies that are characterized by weak institutions. The paper proposes a model in which interactions between poverty and weak institutions produce and sustain (violent) conflicts with declining welfare. The paper then examines the major sources of conflict within this model, and argues that permanent resolution of the conflict requires the simultaneous attainment of stronger and effective institutions and lower poverty levels. One implication of these results is that reducing poverty, or enacting new laws (that often only restrict political freedom without simultaneously strengthening the domestic institutions would exacerbate rather than resolve conflicts and is welfare-reducing. The paper therefore calls on governments to concentrate on strengthening the domestic institutions especially by reducing corruption and promoting transparency in law enforcement.
Keywords: Poverty, Conflicts, Violence, Institutions
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