Long conflict can wreck a country, leaving behind poverty and chaos. But what’s the right way to help war-torn countries rebuild? In his widely circulated 2009 TED Talk, Paul Collier explains the problems with current post-conflict aid plans, and suggests two fresh, complementary approaches, summarized here for Handshake readers.
Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at University of Oxford, and the Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. He researches the causes and consequences of civil war, the effects of aid, and the problems of democracy in low-income societies rich in natural resources.
Watch the Ted Talk
Paul Collier’s new rules for rebuilding a broken nation.
The conventional approach
“So that’s the conventional approach. I think that approach denies reality. We see that there is no quick fix, certainly no quick security fix.”
A Fresh approach to national reconstruction
Recognize the interdependence of three key actors
Once interdependence is recognized, what follows is an expectation of mutual commitments.
Security, investment/aid, and reform work together to produce economic recovery—peacekeepers’ most promising exit strategy.
Focus on three critical needs
“Gradually it will shift from a politics of plunder to a politics of hope.”