The big losers were civil servants, whose wages were eroded. We know the promised gain: protection against coups, but is it credible? They also turned on northerners living in the capital, dumping bodies of those they killed in the lagoon. Amin had not only wrecked the Ugandan economy, he had suffered the ignominy of being deposed through an invasion by Tanzania, whose army had routed his own. Rich people spend a higher share of their income on luxuries than poor people. On his death in 1986, his widow, in accordance with Mr. Otieno’s last will and testament, arranged for his burial in Nairobi. It condemned many little countries to catastrophic underprovision of the two vital public goods: accountability and security. But they only arrived just in the nick of time: as Lord Wellington said of the former, somewhat grander battle, it was “a damned close thing.” So , i f econ o m ic recovery is the exit strategy, how can it be facilitated? Overall, you conclude that bribery is your kind of strategy. “International Political Economy: Some African Applications.” Journal of African Economies 17 (2008): 110–139. She was preceded by a government so insalubrious that even the normally pusillanimous donors drew the line. The answer is that we really cannot tell whether the military will launch a coup in these circumstances. To rephrase the question, why are some countries more at risk of civil war than others? After all, the other side has the advantage of numbers: if they didn’t, you would not have to worry about winning the election. Unfortunately, mainland Africa is at the opposite end of the spectrum from such an island: there is a chain of neighborliness with forty-seven countries sharing the same landmass. The societies of the bottom billion are all below this threshold: most of them are a long way below it. This was promising, 146 WARS, GUNS, AND VOTES but then I hit upon a new data set that had been put together by Patrick McGowan, a political scientist in Arizona. O ne key conc lu s io n fro m a ll this is that military spending is likely to be excessive, driven up in an arms race spiral, and so be a regional public bad. What do es civil wa r ach ieve? This book has proposed a way to break this impasse. That one campaign by one NGO could have such a big effect against such an apparently intractable problem is surely remarkable. It has masked Better Dead Than Fed? The places with few proven natural resource reserves in 2000 will tend to be those with the worst prior history of civil war. They believe in economic reform and they also believe in democracy. Cons: I haven’t much of an idea how to do it. Fifty states, nearly all of which have economies far larger than the typical economy of the bottom billion, have learned how to cooperate. 6 WARS, GUNS, AND VOTES result. Economists realized how to do this in 2003, and we followed the approach that has now become standard. If the government wants to get back to where it started—low inflation and people sufficiently confident to hold the currency—it will need a prolonged period of fiscal restraint. In try i ng to a pply th es e simple but powerful economics of violence to the actual history of state formation, it is always convenient if we can find a starting point for history. It struck me that the lightness of the taxation may have been a deliberate strategy. This enabled them to undertake the collective action that is vital for the provision of public goods. At this point modern economics becomes surprisingly useful in helping us to think through whether standards linked to coup protection would be effective. Recall that at higher levels of income societies are safer. Well, the awkward problem with preemptive purges is that they are not compatible with the rule of law: the technique depends upon punishing people even though they haven’t done anything. And then we started to worry: suppose that the violence had been targeted on the poorest places; superficially it would look as though the violence had impoverished them, but it would be spurious. In effect, these were hypothetical marriages of countries that were as ethnically similar as possible. Once we introduced this possibility we found that the political regime always mattered. The government of Paul Kagame, like President Museveni a successful rebel military leader, is currently the leading African example of effective state building. It is not only capital that is lost during conflict, it is also skills. But this is the time frame for economic recovery, not two or three years. Two yardsticks are useful: what is the ratio of costs to benefits, and what is the net gain? For the honest, it merely protects from mischievous attacks that, in the end, they could probably resist anyway. Is there an alternative? This does not, of course, mean that repression is all right. But why should governments that are not accountable cooperate to build restraints upon themselves? Partly due to lack of funding, Dodoma has not succeeded, but it clearly demonstrated his larger purpose of moving beyond the inherited localized identities. The collapse of the Soviet Union delivered a huge global peace dividend. There was a brief, significant surge in new outbreaks of violence in the first few years after the end of the Cold War, but from 1995 onward the world has been back to normal. Unfortunately, there are very few data on the internal structure of military forces, and so, while the divide-and-rule hypothesis sounds eminently sensible, it is very difficult to test. Essentially, academics fight a zero-sum game over reputation in which the fast route to success is to demolish some prominent piece of work. As a result, during the second half of the twentieth century the number of independent states increased massively. Typically, a country might lose around 0.9 percentage points off its growth rate if one of its neighbors is at war. Over the years I h ave had some very smart students, but undoubtedly the smartest was Tim Besley, now a highly distinguished Votes and Violence 25 professor at the London School of Economics and a former editor of the American Economic Review. We needed to match it with other information. Are things different if it has committed itself? When that iconic poster of Che Guevara first came out, I was a student. The first is what is known as over-the-horizon guarantees. In turn, at least according to democratic theory, a le- Votes and Violence 19 gitimate government thereby acquires certain rights. We were also able to join forces with the team from Michigan State University that runs the Pan-African Afrobarometer survey of political attitudes. Those who regard the societies of the bottom billion as an irredeemable quagmire will be predisposed to regard the proposals in this book as costly idealism. With Anke Hoeffler “Unintended Consequences: Does Aid Promote Arms Races?” Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics 69, no. My own guess is that the decision of the government to spend on the military inadvertently signals to citizens that it is planning to turn nasty, and that this signal forewarns those rebels who have recently put down their arms that they were unwise to do so. He did, however, pay a price for that strategy since the same process made his security forces completely ineffective: despite its massive size, Zaire was unable to defend itself from an invasion by its tiny neighbor Rwanda. In the year before the election the risk of going back to violence is very sharply reduced: the society looks to have reached safety. They are also very much in the spirit of modern international cooperation: from the Monterrey Consensus to the United Nations Global Compact with large corporations, the approach has been to spell out mutual responsibilities. As with elections and reform, democracy is a force for good as long as it is more than a façade. Elsewhere in ethnically diverse African societies, nearly half the responses were couched in terms of ethnicity: first and foremost people defined themselves in ethnic terms. Why focus on power? It would be both less intrusive and more effective if their justified dislike for military spending was embodied into some clear rules of aid allocation: for example, starting from where military budgets are now, each dollar of increase would be taxed by a 40 percent reduction in aid, which would be redistributed to other countries, and each cut in spending would be correspondingly rewarded. So temporary cooperation is much harder than permanent cooperation. Showing Marguerite the half-collapsed roof of a building, her guide explained, “My grandfather would have known how to repair that, but I don’t.” As donors and the government try to rebuild, their spending pushes up construction prices and so gets dissipated: the skills shortage is a bottleneck in reconstruction. But was the military guarantee the reason for this remarkable reduction in conflict? War, Guns and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places, by Paul Collier The most blindingly obvious reason for a government spending a lot on the military was if it was fighting a war against some other government. Evidently we should regard this as a further coup. But we wondered whether during civil war governments might often get desperate. The state is ineffective partly because it would not be in the interests of leaders for it to be more effective, and partly because the supply of public goods is impaired by the lack of a sense of common identity. Democracy in Dangerous Places, Wars, guns and votes: democracy in dangerous places. In Kenya President Moi used it to force a mass of Kikuyu living in the Rift Valley who were likely to vote against him to move. Can we do more than speculate? I was evidently not the first person to wonder about how a dictator might best stay in power. In this book I have spared you the fancy terminology of economics, but since you have reached the end you On Changing Reality 231 can take delight in one technical term: in economic language the quality of political leadership is endogenous. For example, if the troops are systematically sent only to the safer post-conflict countries, they will appear to be successful in keeping the peace but the result will not be causal. Gueï had responded by gutting the army that Bédié had already been salami slicing. Randomized experiments are currently all the rage in economics, but I think we are the first to have done one on how to curtail the violent intimidation of voters by corrupt politicians.
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