The Handbook on the Political Economy of War
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The Handbook on the Political Economy of War

Edited by Christopher J. Coyne and Rachel L. Mathers

By defining political economy and war in the broadest sense, this unique Handbook brings together a wide range of interdisciplinary scholars from economics, political science, sociology, and policy studies to address a multitude of important topics. These include an analysis of why wars begin, how wars are waged, what happens after war has ceased, and the various alternatives to war. Other sections explore civil war and revolution, the arms trade, economic and political systems, and post-conflict reconstruction and nation building. Policymakers as well as academics and students of political science, economics, public policy and sociology will find this volume to be an engaging and enlightening read.
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Chapter 28: The Economics of Peacekeeping

Lloyd J. Dumas


Lloyd J. Dumas 28.1 INTRODUCTION There is a certain ambiguity to the term “peacekeeping,” and therefore to the meaning of the “economics of peacekeeping.” On the one hand, there is the idea of peacekeeping as preventing the eruption (or more frequently, the re-eruption) of violent conflict in areas where the cessation of hostilities is tenuous and the peace is fragile. In these circumstances, peacekeeping typically means operations in which armed third party military forces, such as the famous “Blue Helmets” of the United Nations, are interposed between the armed forces of two groups recently engaged in war or threatening to war with each other. The support of such peacekeeping forces involves a variety of issues that have economic implications, including financing the forces and their logistical requirements, as well as the impact the presence of these forces may have on the local economy where they are deployed. The economics of peacekeeping in this sense is not all that different from the economics of supporting comparable military forces with a more conventional military mission. On the other hand, there is the deeper and much more compelling issue of “peacekeeping” that is the sense of generalized war prevention. In this context, the “economics of peacekeeping” takes the form of the intriguing political economic question of whether economic relationships are capable of creating positive incentives to avoid war, and if so how these incentives might be made stronger and more effective. It is on this latter, more promising and consequential issue that we...

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