Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 03/2010

From Predation to Production Post-conflict

Satish Chand

January 2010

Center for Global Development


This paper builds an analytical framework that models predation (banditry) and production as part of the choice of a rational utility-maximising agent. Aggregating this choice up for society produces equilibrium outcomes ranging from Utopia (where no one predates) to Amorphy (where everyone does). The intermediate position constitutes Anarchy where a mix of predation and production prevail. This framework shows that: (i) organized conflict can lower welfare relative to the level that prevails without such organization; and, (ii) peacekeeping raises welfare, but the equilibrium is self-enforcing only with the requisite level of peacekeeping-technology. The last is then used to analyse conditions under which peacekeeping arises endogenously and the potential (and catalytic) role for external assistance in the above.