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Violent paths to peace? Rethinking the conflict-development nexus in Colombia

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International aid in conflict-affected countries is based on the liberal assumption that an inverse relationship exists between violent conflict and development. This paper contests this assumption through a study of the Colombian context that demonstrates violent conflict and development can in fact be interconnected as part of the transition to capitalist modes of production and in the process of state formation. It further

argues that a failure by aid agencies to comprehend the complex interaction between conflict and development can result in distorted outcomes in their programming that are detrimental to the stated objectives of achieving peace, development, and justice.

Samir Elhawary