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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Lebenswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Ressourcenökonomie

Dissertation von Benedikt Korf

Conflict, Space and Institutions Property Rights and the Political Economy of War in Sri Lanka

Start: 2000
End: 2004

Economic theories increasingly dominate current thinking in peace and conflict research. In their core, economists tend to argue that it is not grievances over political injustice that cause rebellion, but that it is the greed of potential rebels which provides incentives for violent struggle. In the six essays of this book, Benedikt Korf scrutinizes the theoretical and philosophical foundations of these arguments and places them in the empirical context of the Sri Lankan civil war. Based on his field studies in Sri Lanka, the author criticizes these economic theories for failing to consider the contextuality, the institutional embeddedness and the ambiguities of warfare. He asserts that only in the specificity of space and time can we understand the mechanisms that drive the political economies of war. Conflict, Space, and Institutions examines the central factors that reproduce the political economy of violence in Sri Lanka. Overall, the studies suggest that people living in the context of warfare face multiple rules and changing vulnerabilities. The institutional, spatial and economic impacts of civil war are contingent in space and time and create an ambiguous political field that can be both, a threat and an opportunity. Clientele networks emerge and reproduce the antagonistic logic orchestrated in the violent struggles. It is the interaction of these greed and grievance factors, which fuel the dynamics of warfare and make peace building a difficult task.

Researcher: Korf, Benedikt

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn