Dr. Natalia Mirovitskaya, faculty member at the Duke Center for International Development (DCID), has released the fourth book in a series exploring the connection between economic development and conflict. Dr. William Ascher, founder of DCID and professor of government and economics at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif., is the co-author of the four books.

Development Strategies and Inter-Group Violence, the final volume of their multi-country, multi-regional research project, builds on their three previous books focusing on Latin America, Asia and Africa in the Palgrave Macmillan series, “Politics, Economics and Inclusive Development.

The book provides an overview of different development strategies and their conflict potential to help policymakers, development professionals and activists design conflict-sensitive strategies for development.

“Governments can select projects that are less likely to exacerbate animosities,” Ascher and Mirovitskaya said in the preface. “They can create or reallocate economic roles that undermine negative stereotypes…, they can reduce the opportunities and motives for provoking violence, and they can foster equitable growth to create incentives for intergroup reconciliation and cooperation.”

Andrew Natsios, former administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at Texas A&M University, called the book a “helpful roadmap for development professionals attempting to design programs which reduce the likelihood of intercommunal violence.”

“By considering the risks and rewards of alternative approaches to conflict prevention, [this] nuanced study avoids both naïve enthusiasm and undue cynicism for development programs as a solution,” he said.

The first book in the series, Economic Development Strategies and the Evolution of Violence in Latin America, explores the links between economic policies and the nature and dynamics of intergroup violence in Latin America. It was published in 2012.

The second book, Development Strategies, Identities, and Conflict in Asia, published in 2013, provides an overview of the evolution of development doctrines, patterns of socio-economic development and levels of violence in all Asian subregions.

The Economic Roots of Conflict and Cooperation in Africa, published later the same year, examines cases of regime change, post-independence economic development and interpersonal violence in 11 African countries.

Ascher and Mirovitskaya began this research project in 2009 under the auspices of the Pacific Basin Research Center of Soka University of America.

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