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Economic Openness, Disciplined Government and Ethnic Peace

Nava Ravi Kumaran and Tilak Abeysinghe ()
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Nava Ravi Kumaran: Department of Economics, University of Colombo

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Navaratnam Ravinthirakumaran ()

SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series from National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE

Abstract: Many studies have examined the determinants of ethnic conflicts in multi-ethnic developing countries and report a myriad of contributory factors. It is natural to observe many correlates because ethnic wars tend to gain their own momentum and proceed for variety of reasons that are not directly related to the initial causes. Some intervention is necessary to end an ethnic war. The objective of this exercise is to draw attention to conditions necessary to sustain ethnic peace. Good governance and high and shared growth often top the list of conditions necessary to achieve ethnic peace. How to get good governance to developing countries is the key question of interest. To long for an enlightened leader to emerge and set every thing right is utopian. In this exercise we argue that openness to foreign trade and investment is a more assured condition to achieve good governance and high growth. Openness acts as a disciplining force on governments regardless of whether they are democratic or authoritarian. A theoretical framework and empirical evidence are presented to support the hypothesis.

Keywords: Openness; disciplined government; quality of governance; growth; ethnic conflict; feedback loop (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F41 H56 O10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 32 pages
Date: 2008-03
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