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Review of InternationalStudies (2005), 31, 687-698 Copyright© British InternationalStudies Association doi:10.1017/S0260210505006698
Beyond greed and grievanceand not too soon . . .
A review essay
MATS BERDAL* • Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy, A World Bank Report (Washington, DC: World Bank/Oxford University Press, 2003). • Karen Ballentine and Jake Sherman (eds.), The Political Economy of Armed Conflict: Beyond Greedand Grievance(Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2003). • Michael Pugh and Neil Cooper with Jonathan Goodhand, War Economies in a Regional Context (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2003). • Ken Menkhaus, Somalia: State Collapse and the Threat of Terrorism, Adelphi Paper 364 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
The 'Greed Paradigm' and the study of civil war
'A useful conceptual distinction in understanding the motivation for civil war is that between greed and grievance'.1 Thus wrote Paul Collier in 1999. Drawing on statistical data of civil wars since the mid-sixties, his conclusion at the time was stark and unequivocal: 'grievance-based explanations of civil war' were 'seriously wrong'.2 In seemingly uncompromising terms, he argued instead that the key to understanding why such wars erupt...