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Assisting Uncertainty: How Humanitarian Aid can Inadvertently Prolong Civil War

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International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 1-12, page(s): 12

October 2014

isq

Humanitarian aid has rapidly emerged as a core component of modern peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction. However, some practitioners and policymakers claim that humanitarian assistance may actually prolong conflict. The current debate about the effect of humanitarian aid on conflict underspecifies causal mechanisms and takes place largely through case studies. Narang use a bargaining framework to argue that aid can inadvertently increase each combatant’s uncertainty about the other side’s relative strength, thereby prolonging civil war.

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