Economies of violence and peacebuilding: towards policy coherence

International responses to conflict have highlighted the role of natural resources and other forms of wealth in helping to sustain “self-financing wars”. For over a decade there have been sporadic attempts to come to grips with the international dimensions of the economies of conflict, but concrete efforts to grapple with the problem have been sporadic and incoherent. However, in 2011 developments at the UN and OECD have laid the foundations for a more coherent approach, one that seeks to control the irregular war economies in part by excluding the results of unacceptable activities from global value chains. This is a step in the right direction. However, as this policy brief argues, the effectiveness and legitimacy of this approach relies on the conscious development of a strategy that defines clear norms as the basis for exclusion, builds the capacity in the public and private sector for managing the process of exclusion, and mitigates any unintended harms resulting from exclusion to vulnerable people in conflict-affected areas.