One of a series of 13 briefs exploring the strengths and weaknesses of the policies advocated in Paul Collier's controversial and influential book 'The Bottom Billion'.
The world's poorest countries are particularly vulnerable to civil wars, which are difficult to stop. Policies designed to tackle structural problems before conflict erupts are likely to be more effective than reactive intervention after domestic violence has broken out, and appropriately trained local and regional armies have an important part to play. Constructing preventative strategies, security guarantees and ensuring co-operation between regional and Western alliances, particularly the European Union, are priorities.
IDS In Focus Issue 3.8, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, 4 pp.