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Economic Intervention And Armed Conflict E&D Research Paper

3269 words - 14 pages

The Economics of War:
how economic intervention sows the seed for armed conflicts
“The culture of death is imposed by economic and political interests, the arrogance of
power, corruption. I blame the first world for having taken our riches for so many years. I
am speaking of the superpowers that dominate the life of the world. More concretely,
the World Bank, the IMF. Those that have caused and tolerated the death of our people,
those responsible for the plundering of the third world. Silence is also part of
repression.”
- Rigoberta Menchu, Guatemalan political activist.
It can be said that economic institutions are transnational organizations concerned with
issues of monetary distribution and/or gain among their member states. One example of
such an institution is the International Monetary Fund, IMF. Formed in 1944 and
realized in 1945 under their parent organization of the United Nations, their mission is to
“[work] to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate
international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and
reduce poverty around the world.” Consisting of 189 countries, the high and wide range 1
of member states testifies to the far reach and, consequently, the impact the
organization has around the world in relation to the various social, political and
economic issues. This paper seeks to examine, explore and analyse the literature on
the origins of conflict as a direct consequence of intervention by economic institutions,
notably the IMF in the context of the Somali civil war (1986-present) and the Dutch East
India Company by answering the question “to what extent are economic institutions the
1“About the IMF, accessed 29 April 2017, ” ​https://www.imf.org/external/about.htm
primary cause of war?” This will be carried out through looking at the moral implications
of intervention, the idea of for-profit within economic institutions and involved
governments, the extent to which economic autonomy is relevant, the notion of foreign
aid and its positive and negative consequences, the framework of a ‘one size fits all’
policy and its implications and what happens in the event that a war breaks out in
countries that are intervened.
It is a broad generalization to claim that economic institutions are the sole cause of
conflict. Ethnic tensions, economic inequality and lack of resources are all contributing
factors to the onset of violence. However, intrastate warfare is far more common in the
poorest of the world’s countries where researchers find the most statistical evidence for
the cause of violence: a failure of economic development . Simply put, an environment 2
prime for conflict is created due to economic inequalities that are imbedded into the
social structure of the country . IMF conditionality has been correlated with lower growth 3
rates and so may be a contributing reason for armed conflict to break out. However, the 4
morality of such conditions must first be discussed...

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