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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Post-2015 Consensus: Conflict and Violence Viewpoint, Ruane

Viewpoint Paper

Ruane (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom) welcomes the author's focus on the need for a violence prevention approach to development that addresses violence from the personal to the international. While the case for this is supported by the authors’ economic approach, Ruane notes that a more holistic approach would further strengthen their case. Violence not only entails substantial economic costs but also breaches of human rights and failure to protect the environment, so impacting all three dimensions of sustainable development. While Fearon and Hoeffler make a strong case for addressing violence prevention, their specific targets are less compelling. Traditional approaches to development are frequently gender biased, and promote unequal and feminized burdens of adjustment. Enhancing capabilities or enhancing resilience would be a more positive move towards transformative policy interventions and this could include strengthening the participation, protection, and rights of women and other at-risk groups across the conflict spectrum to tackle the root causes of violence and conflict. The authors also fail to address the importance of tackling militarism and arms and should include a target of, say, a 50% reduction in spending to free up resources for gender equitable social development. Finally, accountability of non-state actors such as private military companies and international financial institutions should be strengthened.