Violence and Development

A couple of quotes related to violence and development.

“. . . all societies must deal with the problem of violence. In most developing countries, individuals and organizations actively use or threaten to use violence to gather wealth and resources, and violence has to be restrained for development to occur. In many societies the potential for violence is latent: organizations generally refrain from violence in most years, but occasionally find violence a useful tool for pursuing their ends. These societies live in the shadow of violence, and they account for most of human history and for most of today’s world population. Social arrangements deter the use of violence by creating incentives for powerful individuals to coordinate rather than fight.”

Source: In the Shadow of Violence: Politics, Economics, and the Problems of Development. Edited by Douglass C. North, et al. Cambridge Univ Press 2013.

“Political development occurs when people domesticate violence, transforming coercion from a means of predation into a productive resource. Coercion becomes productive when it is employed not to seize or to destroy wealth, but rather to safeguard and promote its creation.”

Source: Prosperity and Violence: The Political Economy of Development. Robert H. Bates. (2001)

A related post worth a read is “Of Kakistocracies, Principals and Agents.

Author: Atanu Dey


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