Plunder, Predation and Profiteering: The Political Economy of Armed Conflicts and Economic Violence in Modern Africa

in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
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Abstract

This paper presents a comparative analytical study that is based on a political economy perspective concerning the effects of economic violence and the specter of predation-induced armed conflicts in modern African states. Although "blood diamonds," crude oil, "conflict timber," and illicit arms trafficking have engendered and exacerbated civil wars, cross-border raids, and protracted regional destabilization in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, my primary focus is on the ongoing military debacle in Liberia and the recently concluded mayhem in Sierra Leone. The "resource curse" hypothesis will be utilized to examine and to illuminate the impact of economic pillaging, illicit arms trade, and predatory warlordism on the political instability and humanitarian atrocities in these two West African countries. A review of the internal regime types and the regional security relations within the sub-region will help to contextualize the recurrent trends and discernable systemic patterns that have been associated with these pillaging wars in the post-cold war era of Africa's international relations. In short, armed conflicts have weakened state capabilities, strained the financial resources of nongovernmental organizations and even raised provocative questions about the political will and sustaining capacities of the international community and regional security organizations to keep the peace and create conditions that are conducive to long-term, sustainable and viable political stability and economic development in the conflict-ridden and war-ravaged Sub-Saharan African States.

Plunder, Predation and Profiteering: The Political Economy of Armed Conflicts and Economic Violence in Modern Africa

in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology

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