Workshop On Conflicts and development

Jean-François Maystadt (Université Catholique De Louvain). « Refugees, Diversity And Conflict In Sub-Saharan Africa ». Joint With Luisito Bertinelli (University Of Luxembourg), Rana Comertpay (University Of Luxembourg).

This paper investigates how changes in diversity induced by the annual inflows of refugees at the local level affect conflict across 23 countries in sub-Saharan Africa between 2005 and 2016. Refugee-induced polarization is found to exacerbate the risk of violence at the local and individual levels. The opposite is found for refugee-induced fractionalization. The results should not be interpreted as evidence that refugees per se impact the likelihood of violence. We found a negative correlation between the number of refugees and violence. Instead, the analysis points to the risk of conflict when refugees exacerbate ethnic polarization in the hosting communities.

Pétros Sekeris (Montpellier Business School). Theoretical Foundations of the Modernization Hypothesis. Authors : D. Debowicz , A. Dickson, I. MacKenzie, P. Sekeris

In this paper we develop a theoretical framework where citizens derive utility from both material goods, and political liberties, with the two arguments of the util- ity function potentially exhibiting complementarities to the extent that wealth can never perfectly substitute the lack of political liberties and representation. Goods are produced endogenously, with the opportunity cost of production being the marginal improvement of political freedom that would obtain from political activism. The rul- ing elites aim at minimizing the degree of political freedom so as to increase their like- lihood of retaining power. We demonstrate that economic development as captured by positive productivity shocks, incentivizes citizens to substitute production time for political activism in developed economies, thus bringing support to the moderniza- tion hypothesis. In economically backwards polities, we demonstrate that negative economic shocks will increase political activism, in support of theories discrediting the modernization hypothesis. Empirical tests are shown to support our theoretical findings.