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Analysis in conflict WDR criticised

21 November 2011

The World Bank’s 2011 World Development Report (WDR) on Conflict, Security and Violence (see Update 77) was challenged in a paper published in the Journal of International Development. The paper’s UK-based authors, at the London School of Economics and the University of Manchester, criticise the WDR for analytic deficiencies – “lump[ing] gangs together with … drug cartels, terrorists or even rebel groups” – and for saying that “violence relates to institutional deficits”, while “barely mak[ing] any mention of democracy.” The paper argues that this reflects a narrow emphasis on institutional economics – “almost all the literature cited is economic and is principally based on quantitative correlations between economic and political factors and conflict” – with little historical or sociological perspective.