III.Friday, February 27 - 11 am Discussion A.What can countries do in order to make civil wars less feasible? Do you believe that there are other crucial variables other than the proportion of young men, mountainous terrain and if the country was under the French security umbrella that influence the onset of civil wars? 1.education, maybe? a.9/11 hijackers - some were well-educated b.many suicide bombers are educated 2.fiscal responsibility 3.economic diversification a.especially if it's a resource-based conflict b.more resilience if commodity markets change, etc. 4.geography a.might just be a factor that continues civil war, not start it b.or maybe geography creates factors that lead to civil war (1)i.e. mountains (a)alien other on the other side 5.institutions that are more responsive to constituents a.also making sure that there is a middle class (1)so as to avoid the haves, have-nots divide b.also perception of economic inequality c.meritocracy 6.proliferation of drugs in Sierra Leone thought by many scholars to have resulted in the onset and escalation of the conflict 7.French security umbrella? a.more willing/more connected to intervene and prevent conflict in some situations (1)perhaps a few holes in the umbrella b.have retained many links with former colonies (1)seen as a way of retaining some power on the international trade c.also very protective of the French language B.Do you truly believe that UN imposed sanctions, similar to the ones used on conflict diamonds, are possible when it comes to oil? What do you think the immediate consequences would be? 1.not so much - oil is far more of a necessity than diamonds 2.probably would not make it past the security council a.especially with China and the US b.much harder sell globally 3.also environmental pressure a.if sanctions were placed, would look for oil that's harder to extract and more environmentally devastating C. How does the oil wealth allow the government to control opponents, avoid constraining measures from the West and ignore the pressure for transparency? 1.bribery 2.less responsive to citizenry if they don't have to worry about tax revenue 3.can fund/buy armaments/munitions to fund private militias & the army D.Why aren't we pressuring countries like Angola to be more transparent? 1.internal corruption hurts transparency 2.afraid of what will come about re: other governments 3.could harm potential for investment in the country a.if you know it's super corrupt, not going to want to invest there 4.flight of big oil companies E.Does absolute power corrupt absolutely? 1.checks and balances are good a.it helps if power is diffuse, rather than concentrated with one person Maria Putzer Document1
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