Poverty and conflict are widely understood to be closely interconnected; with poverty making countries more prone to civil war, and armed conflict weakening governance and economic performance, thus increasing the risk of conflict relapse (Goodhand 2001). The selected readings in this pack move beyond reductive and harmful assumptions about ‘pathologies’ of poverty to examine the latest research into the poverty-conflict nexus. Earlier studies identified macro-level factors that made countries more likely to experience armed conflict. For example, low per capita income and large populations correlate with civil war, whereas ethnic and religious diversity does not make countries more prone to conflict (Fearon & Laitin 2003). Newer research examines the processes and mechanisms that precipitate and shape violence on the ground.
Marks, Z. (2016). Conflict and poverty. GSDRC Professional Development Reading Pack no. 52.
Birmingham, UK: University of Birmingham, 5pp