The Theory Of The Conflict Trap

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Does the theory of the ‘conflict trap’ adequately explain recurring civil wars in some societies? I. Introduction II. The Conflict Trap Theory The Conflict Trap is the theory that countries that have experienced civil war suffer a greater risk for new conflict than other countries with no prior history of civil war. Paul Collier argues that conflict occurs disproportionately in the countries in the ‘bottom billion’ population of the world because they have not had they ‘have not had any growth at all.’ Furthermore, he finds that the civil wars in these societies aggravate structural forces; poverty, poor governance and non-participation in the modern political economy and thus makes them more susceptible to further conflicts. This…show more content…
Furthermore, countries with higher levels of economic growth are less likely to experience multiple wars regardless of the characteristics of a previous war. Studies show that only 36% of civil wars during this time period were followed by an additional war. Single wars in countries such as, Argentina, Greece and Costa Rica, were more the standard. Given this variation, is it adequate to explain a recurring war based on its previous conflict? How does this explain why some countries experience recurring civil war while others do not? A majority of studies on civil war recurrence focus primarily on the characteristics or attributes of the previous war to explain the relapse of second and third wars. A counter argument for this approach is that regardless of what occurred in a previous conflict, the factors of that conflict are themselves not enough to facilitate a new war without strong economic and political incentives for the average citizens. Studies including civil wars in the 21st Century have a somewhat different pattern. Looking at the statistics, between the years of 1945 and 2009, only 44 out of the 103 countries that have experienced civil war have avoided a relapse. Thus, 57 percent of post-civil war countries have returned to civil war. It is said that the civil war in the Ivory Coast was the last time a civil war occurred for the first
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