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Conflict, Security, and Development
April 30, 2011 6:32 AM   Subscribe

Remove the scourge of conflict - "Taming mass violence is the theme of the World Bank's latest World Development Report, which focuses on 'conflict, security and development' [pdf] ... Mass violence destroys all hopes of progress. We should make a huge effort to eliminate this scourge. It seems feasible. It is desirable. So try."
posted by kliuless (18 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
WAR IS OVER
IF YOU WANT IT
posted by hermitosis at 6:38 AM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mass violence destroys all hopes of progress.

But ensures huge profits, isn't ironic?
posted by doctor_negative at 6:43 AM on April 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Taming mass violence is the theme of the World Bank’s latest World Development Report, which focuses on “conflict, security and development”. It is a fascinating document. Unfortunately, it is also far too long to obtain the attention it deserves. As I know from personal involvement in the first WDR, published in 1978, Robert McNamara, then president, believed these reports should be punchy and accessible.
well, Robert McNamara certainly knew a thing or two about mass violence...
posted by ennui.bz at 6:59 AM on April 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


this time...
posted by ReWayne at 7:26 AM on April 30, 2011


Mass violence seems to be the only way now for the little people to wrest control from the global elites. So sorry, I am not buying this.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:43 AM on April 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


Meatbomb: there's always this thing called "voting".
posted by IAmBroom at 7:46 AM on April 30, 2011


I know, I know. Preempting the obvious response: Yes, Obama let us down, and his administration is sucking corporate cock, hard. But Sen. Franken didn't. The trick for voters is finding the Real Deal to vote for.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:47 AM on April 30, 2011


"No matter how many planes, bombs, and boots on the ground we need, I assure you all, we shall remove the scourge of the conflict. "

Kidding aside, this statistic really is intriguing:

While the number of countries experiencing civil war is in the mid-30s, battle deaths have fallen from an average of 164,000 a year in the 1980s to 42,000 in the 2000s.

I am curious how Janes will examine this report, as this change over the years has certainly affected strategic planning in small theater operations for peacekeeping and non-peacekeeping deployment and planning.
posted by chambers at 7:50 AM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meatbomb: there's always this thing called "voting".

Tell that to the Iranians, Syrians, Tajiks, Libyans, etc., etc...
posted by Meatbomb at 7:54 AM on April 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fourth, violence has complex domestic and international causes: high unemployment, inequality, economic shocks and infiltration of trafficking networks or foreign fighters. But the central aspect is the “absence of legitimate institutions that provide citizens security, justice and jobs”.

Not killing each other is pretty much the first rule of anything approaching a social contract by which people can live together. Scale down far enough on Maslov's hierarchy, shred the last scraps of trust in a non-corrupt system, and watch that disappear as well. (Insert my usual snark on complete deregulation and spontaneously forming free market utopias, etc.)

It's not surprising that the kind of governments that are the most corrupt, manage to find international interests to back them, sharing the same goal: squeeze as much riches and resources from an area and leave it to die after it all falls down. After that point, the violence is self-perpetuating.

I mean, I guess it's surprising if you've accepted the usual media push of victim blaming and ignoring who all was paying for that coltan that runs your new laptop, or who worked with which dictator to forcibly push people off their land so we could grow some more coffee beans. King Leopold's Ghost knows about some profitable tragedy.

And then we can turn around and say, "What's wrong with those people? Why are they always killing each other?"
posted by yeloson at 8:07 AM on April 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Imho, we'd find all this wonderful stuff much easier to do if the west fixed it's electoral systems, i.e. single transferable vote, Condorcet methods, etc.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:29 AM on April 30, 2011


And then we can turn around and say, "What's wrong with those people? Why are they always killing each other?"

Most of us were colonies or at the mercy of European/Western powers at the start of the 20th century, but there's examples where the cycle was broken.

Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia and the big guys China and India. Each were all colonies of some other power at some point and each has taken wildly different paths in dealing with international elements in their respective places, but I think they've all reached a level of sustainable stability. I'm not saying these places don't have issues or have eliminated corruption, but they're definitely not international basketcases.
posted by FJT at 8:33 AM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


there's examples where the cycle was broken.

I think it's primarily about how far down the line of destruction you are at when you escape the situation, and what kinds of support you get for rebuilding infrastructure after the fact. Otherwise, "best case" scenarios of stability without that support looks like Haiti or Cambodia...
posted by yeloson at 9:02 AM on April 30, 2011


International assistance should also be changed. The most important recommendation here is the first: invest in prevention.

Why do I get the feeling this translates to "buy arms for western-friendly dictators before their people can revolt"?
posted by doctor_negative at 11:37 AM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


IAmBroom: Allow me to quote Bill Hicks in response to your belief in voting, because he summed it up perfectly:

"I'll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here: 'I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.' 'I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking' 'Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding out both puppets!'"

(and you don't even need the "in America" part).
posted by parrot_person at 12:38 PM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meatbomb: there's always this thing called "voting".
...
I know, I know. Preempting the obvious response: Yes, Obama let us down, and his administration is sucking corporate cock, hard. But Sen. Franken didn't. The trick for voters is finding the Real Deal to vote for.
You know there are other countries besides the United States, right? And also there hasn't been "mass violence" in the U.S. for over a century so I'm pretty sure they're talking about other places.

Now, the U.S. instigating mass violence, on the other hand.
posted by delmoi at 1:16 PM on April 30, 2011


battle deaths have fallen from an average of 164,000 a year in the 1980s to 42,000 in the 2000s.

A fall of 74% is grounds for optimism if you ask me.
posted by anigbrowl at 3:45 PM on April 30, 2011


Fascinating stuff. Amongst many interesting things:
* Some of the Central American civil wars in the 1980s were linked to the US enforcing repatriation schemes for Los Angeles gang members. Whoops!
* Unemployment amongst young men doesn't correlate with civil unrest, to my absolute astonishment. I'll need to read more about this. I knew that terrorism didn't correlate with poverty, but to not correlate with unemployment? Really?
* Drug prohibition is an absolutely terrible idea and helps to fail states.
* You're more likely to fall to a coup in Sub-Saharan Africa than lose an election. (So, suggests Paul Collier, why don't we rich Westerners provide coup-protection guarantees to Presidents, and withdraw them if they steal an election...?!)

Great post, Kiluless.
posted by alasdair at 4:54 AM on May 1, 2011


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