We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Carrots, Sticks, and Ethnic Conflict

Rethinking Development Assistance

Milton J. Esman and Ronald J. Herring, Editors

Publication Year: 2001

Development assistance employs carrots and sticks to influence regimes and obtain particular outcomes: altered economic policies, democratization, relief of suffering from catastrophes. Wealthy nations and international agencies such as the World Bank justify development assistance on grounds of improving the global human condition. Over the last forty years, however, ethnic conflict has increased dramatically. Where does ethnic conflict fit within this set of objectives? How do the resources, policy advice, and conditions attached to aid affect ethnic conflict in countries in which donors intervene? How can assistance be deployed in ways that might moderate rather than aggravate ethnic tensions? These issues are addressed comparatively by area specialists and participant-observers from development assistance organizations. This book is the first systematic effort to evaluate this dimension of international affairs--and to propose remedies. Case studies include Russia, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, and Kenya, with references to many other national experiences. Cross-cutting chapters consider evolution of USAID and the World Bank's policies on displacement of people by development projects, as well as how carrots and sticks may affect ethnic dynamics, but through different mechanisms and to varying degrees depending on political dynamics and regime behaviors. They show that projects may also exacerbate ethnic conflict by reinforcing territoriality and exposing seemingly unfair allocative principles that exclude or harm some while benefiting others. For students of international political economy, development studies, comparative politics, and ethnic conflict, this book illuminates a problem area that has long been overlooked in international affairs literature. It is essential reading for staff members and policymakers in development assistance agencies and international financial institutions. Milton J. Esman is the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies, Emeritus, and Professor of Government, Emeritus, at Cornell University. Ronald J. Herring is Director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell, the John S. Knight Professor of International Relations, and Professor of Government at Cornell University.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (33.4 KB)
pp. vii

This book originated in a conference held at Cornell University as part of a series of inquiries—originally sponsored jointly by the Peace Studies Program and the Institute for European Studies of Cornell’s Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies—on the implications of ethnic conflict for international affairs. Two earlier volumes focusing on international...

read more

1. Projects and Policies, Politics and Ethnicities

pdf iconDownload PDF (104.8 KB)
pp. 1-25

Ethnic conflict¹ has often jarred the international community with its ferocity and durability. The causes are perplexing—clearly multiple and multidimensional, and situationally specific, difficult of generalization. But certainly much ethnic conflict is rooted in or fed by competition for resources. Though no purely materialist explanation can be...

read more

2. The World Bank and Displacement: The Challenge of Heterogeneity

pdf iconDownload PDF (105.4 KB)
pp. 26-48

International development agencies have become sensitive to potentially adverse social consequences of their projects. But mere recognition of potential problems ensures neither avoidance nor mitigation. Project-related population displacement is one such source of problems, including ethnic conflict in some...

read more

3. USAID and Ethnic Conflict: An Epiphany?

pdf iconDownload PDF (150.7 KB)
pp. 49-89

This chapter examines the approach of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to ethnic conflict—whether it addresses ethnic conflict in its policies, programs, or projects; why it is interested in ethnic conflict; and how it approaches ethnic conflict and ethnicity.¹ As an independent agency within the U.S. foreign policy establishment, USAID...

read more

4. Foreign Aid and Ethnic Interests in Kenya

pdf iconDownload PDF (106.2 KB)
pp. 90-112

Academics specializing in the design and implementation of foreign aid interventions have given little attention to ethnicity.

read more

5. Ethnic Cooperation in Sri Lanka: Through the Keyhole of a USAID Project

pdf iconDownload PDF (111.8 KB)
pp. 113-139

It is unlikely that there is any necessary or fixed relationship between foreign assistance and ethnic conflict (or cooperation). However, this does not mean that there is no connection. External aid used in some ways can be seen to exacerbate or stir up ethnic tensions, indirectly if not directly, while aid used differently can have some moderating effects. The...

read more

6. Making Ethnic Conflict: The Civil War in Sri Lanka

pdf iconDownload PDF (134.4 KB)
pp. 140-174

Sri Lanka’s internal strife has been among the most enduring, lethal, and puzzling of current domestic conflicts. This outcome is puzzling because of the absence of sustained ethnic conflict prior to the late 1970s and the remarkable developmental record of Sri Lanka as a model for provision of “basic human needs” within the context of a well-institutionalized...

read more

7. Foreign Assistance as Genocide: The Crisis in Russia, the IMF, and Interethnic Relations

pdf iconDownload PDF (138.2 KB)
pp. 175-209

For a long time, Russia has been at the center of attention of a large section of the international development community. Huge sums have been poured into the maw of Russian reform. Politicians and of‹cials in Africa, Asia, and Latin America complain that their countries are being starved of assistance because the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe are...

read more

8. “Indian Market”: The Ethnic Face of Adjustment in Ecuador

pdf iconDownload PDF (109.2 KB)
pp. 210-234

On February 5, 1999, Ecuador’s president Jamil Mahuad decreed the latest in almost two decades of austerity programs, seeking from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank $700 million in loans needed to pay the interest on Ecuador’s $15 billion foreign debt. This year’s program included cutoffs of...

read more

9. Policy Dimensions: What Can Development Assistance Do?

pdf iconDownload PDF (92.4 KB)
pp. 235-256

In most countries that receive development assistance—in Asia, Africa, and Latin America; in Eastern Europe and the successor republics of the former Soviet Union—ethnic pluralism has become an important (often the most salient) dimension of politics and the principal source of violent conflict. The previous chapters address whether this presents a special...


pdf iconDownload PDF (37.7 KB)
pp. 257-259


pdf iconDownload PDF (39.0 KB)
pp. 261-264

E-ISBN-13: 9780472026852
E-ISBN-10: 0472026852
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472089277
Print-ISBN-10: 0472089277

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2001