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Indicators of Potential Conflict

By Mansoob Murshed

Abstract

This paper focuses on the main factors that contribute to the dangers of violent internal conflict erupting, or re-igniting after a peace has been concluded. The conflict literature has identified greed and grievance as the principle causes of conflict. But for either of them to take the form of large-scale violence there must be other factors at work, specifically a weakening of the 'social contract'. Such a viable social contract can be sufficient to restrain opportunistic behaviour such as theft of resource rents and violent expression of grievance. The social contract, therefore, refers to the mechanisms and institutions of peaceful conflict resolution. Three main risk factors are considered in this briefing: The breakdown of redistributive mechanisms, democratic transitions and lack of economic progress.Conflict, civil war, greed versus grievance, social contract, democratic transition, redistributive mechanisms

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