WIDER Discussion Papers // World Institute for Development Economics (UNU-WIDER) 2005/07
The political economy of civil wars has acquired unprecedented scholarly and policy attention. Among others, the International Peace Academy’s programme on Economic Agendas in Civil Wars (EACW) has aimed to contribute to a better understanding of the complex dynamics of civil war economies and has identified areas for policy development critical for improved conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and postconflict peacebuilding. While much of the earlier debate on the economic dimensions has been polarized around the ‘greed versus grievance’ dichotomy, there is now a better understanding of how economic dynamics can influence the onset, character, and duration of armed conflicts. This paper discusses key research findings and their policy relevance, provides a preliminary assessment of policy efforts to address the economic dimensions of conflict and conflict transformation, and offers some issues for further research and policy action.