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Geography 3312A/B
Haroon Akram Lodhi

Conflict; Comments Numbers killed in war from 1945-2000 Since 1950  Anti-colonial and inter-state war is declining  Dramatic increase of internal conflict  Global conflict has been declining Conflict different?  Used to be about destroying the opponent’s military o 90% of deaths today are civilian or non-combatant  Rarely inter-state now, but internationalized internal or purely internal Conflict vs. War  Conflict: o A state of disharmony between incompatible or antithetical persons, ideas or interests  War: o Most advanced state of conflict between or within societies Repercussions of War  Agricultural decline & food shortage  Inflation that hurts the poor more than the rich  Informal livelihoods, like petty trading which may come to encompass the petty trading of assets needed for security  Increase in gov’t spending towards police and military, but away from the social Over time…  Poor supply of basic goods & services (doctors, education & food)  Women face additional demands on time and work  Families are split up by conflict – children separated from parents & orphans made  Psychological trauma  People flee communities, creating refugees Entitlement Changes  Market-based entitlements fall o Wages from both employment and self-employment, rising inflation  Direct entitlements, like agricultural production, become more important, but harder to do  Public entitlements fall, especially because tax capacity collapses  Civic entitlements can compensate for losses, but where wars are fierce, the ability of communities and NGOs to respond to needs is limited  Non-legal entitlements, like looting, illegal trade) become more important, but with losers o Illegal: poppy production in Afghanistan o Legal: informal sector in Mozambique Development costs of conflict  Destruction of physical plant & equipment  Degradation of land  Human waste – death, deprivation, diversion  Social & organizational capital degraded  New investment is reduced – lack of economic development Violence  Poor because they are violent or vice versa?  Burundi and Burkin Faso – similar incomes & growth rates until Burundi had an attempted genocide. Now the latter is much better off Conflict Trap?  1.5 billion live in countries with political violence, organized crime & high murder rates or low- intensity violence  39 countries with a civil war since 2000? Almost all had one in the last 30 years too  War is heaviest in low income countries o Heaviest in Africa  People are more likely to be malnourished, miss primary school, die in infancy, and are more vulnerable to shocks like food price rises  The economic development “gap” between poor violent and non-violent countries is growing  No poor country is on track to any Millennium Development Goal  Conflict is an impediment to “development” Diversity in War  The Cold War rd o War by proxy (substitute) as East and West fought by surrogate in 3 world countries like Vietnam, Mozambique, Afghanistan & Central America, facilitating internal conflicts o Some wars ended with the end of the Cold War, while others took on a life of their own  Revolutionary wars and internationalized internal conflicts, aiming to overturn socio-political and economic order o Cambodia, Colombia, Nepal  Wars & internal conflict for independence o Eritrea, Biafria, Tamils in Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Kosovo, Southern Phillipines  Wars & internal conflict to gain (or keep) political supremacy by particular groups (usually based on identity) o Rwanda, Burundi, Northern Ireland, Uganda, Israel/Palestine  Stateless actors - fostering conflict based on identity: al-Qaeda Conflict: Now & Then th  20 century barbaric – Eric Hobsbawm  1914 accepted violence standards ≠ now accepted Genocide  Seen in the role of genocide o Genocide: deliberate & systematic destruction of an ethnic, racial, religious or national group. Not an accident – leaders are calculating, shrewd, sophisticated & educated, directing genocide to achieve political ends Frightening  Carried out by ordinary people who are persuaded to commit acts they wouldn’t normally o Short walk from taunting to hacking someone to death  Inability of individual people to demand action from political leaders – this is partly because as humans, we can process that one person is dying, but not thousands  Involvement of North gov’ts in genocide o Western support for Khmer Rouge after the 1977 Vietnamese intervention o Involvement of the Sudanese gov’t with the US counterterrorism activities means that many who give the CIA information are part of genocide o French special forces training and equipping genocidaires in Rwanda o Chad, Eritrea & Libya equipping rebel militias in Darfur has resulted in France’s air force intervening in support of the Chadian gov’t Perspectives on the Cause of Conflict in Developing Countries  Liberal perspective: o Conflict can be resolved by promoting “development”, but conflict in not exclusive to the poorest and this excludes external intervention  Critical/structuralist/Marxist perspectives: o Conflict can drive development because social change requires clashing interest & contradictions within societies  Institutional perspective: o Conflict can drive development, but the trajectory of change is highly variable and is affected by changing norms & values  Conservative perspective: o Conflict threatens the stability of a society striving for development  Militarization perspectives: o Conflict is an outcome of the triumph of militaristic and binary (us/them) political, economic, social & cultural ideas amongst individuals and within societies  War on poverty, war on drugs, battle of the blades, we stand on guard for thee Explanations of the Causes of Conflict 1. Cultural: o age old enmities between ethnic groups & the clash of civilisations  Stress conflicting identities  arising from differences between people  In many contexts, there is peace despite a mixture of cultures  Only 0.01% of potential cultural conflicts in Africa result in actual conflict  Because identities are constructed, not given, and accentuated by leaders to achieve certain political and economic objectives.  Conflict is created on the basis of identity that is not natural but socially created a. The colonial influence  Before colonies, people’s identities in their tribe were constantly changing – subject to chief, member of a cult, part of this clan, etc.  Modern Central African tribes are colonial creations b. The economic purpose of a constructed identity  Trading networks demonstrat
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