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Peace and Prosperity

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Conflict is self-perpetuating. Cycles of violence and vengeance feed from one another, and the economic patterns which accompany them act in a similarly cyclical way. War leads to poverty, and poverty fuels war; left unchecked, wartime economies can stimulate conflict and destabilise peace. The international community is increasingly turning to economic development as a means of addressing violent conflict, hoping to promote peace by spreading prosperity and relieving poverty. However, opinion is divided over how economic development should best be carried out in a post-conflict situation, and the international community is currently pursuing varied (and sometimes conflicting) strategies. This paper surveys the range of approaches currently being adopted by western governments and multilateral agencies, and identifies a major fault-line between these approaches. The paper goes on to consider what needs to be done to make economic development more effective in post-conflict situations, to work for both peace and prosperity.

Speaker: Dr Naoise Mac Sweeney is a Research Fellow at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. She is also currently working with the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) on the project Private-Sector Development in Conflict-Affected Environments. Her main areas of research are ethnic tension, migration, and community identity; using both historical and contemporary examples.

Respondent: Eleanor O’Gorman is a Research Fellow at the Centre of International Studies (University of Cambridge) and has over fifteen years experience in the fields of international conflict, human rights and development within multilateral, bilateral, academic, and NGO settings. She worked previously as Senior Policy Adviser with UNDP , serving in New York and Brussels where she led policy engagement on conflict prevention and peacebuilding with various UN agencies and operations, and with EU crisis management developments. She also advised and supported field programmes and operations including Somalia, Liberia and Sri Lanka.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Post-Conflict and Post-Crisis Group series.

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