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War and UnderdevelopmentVolume 1: The Economic and Social Consequences of Conflict$
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Frances Stewart and Valpy Fitzgerald

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780199241866

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199241866.001.0001

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The Political Economy of War

The Political Economy of War

(p.39) 3 The Political Economy of War
War and Underdevelopment

David Keen

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores new ways of thinking about war and possible directions for research derived from a review of the existing literature. It looks particularly at the political economy of war, focusing on economic causes and consequences. The chapter deals primarily with civil wars, while keeping one eye on inter-state wars. This distinction is unlikely in any case to be hard and fast. Civil conflicts frequently have an important international dimension. Moreover, many inter-state wars have their origins in civil wars. The chapter focuses particularly on the indirect costs of war, rather than on the direct costs that are frequently emphasised. It is suggested, in addition, that significant economic benefits may arise from war. These benefits may be intended or unintended. In so far as intended benefits arise from war, it is reasonable to talk about the functions of war as well as its causes.

Keywords:   war, economic causes, civil wars, inter-state wars, indirect costs, economic benefits, intended benefits, political economy

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