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Money Can’t Buy Love but Can it Buy Peace? Evidence from Northern Ireland

Tilman Brück and Neil Ferguson published a working paper on the effectiveness of a large-scale peace-building programme in Northern Ireland. In 1998, the Good Friday Agreement concluded a period of violence in Northern Ireland yet the scars of the conflict remained prevalent in the political landscape. Rival communities remained divided, economic performance was poor and intercommunity tensions frequently manifested. In a bid to reinforce progress towards a peaceful and stable society, over €1bn of public money was spent between 2000 and 2006 on small-scale community and business ventures. Despite the scale of expenditure, however, little rigorous effort has been made to test the success of the programmes. Splitting Northern Ireland into 582 electoral wards, we merge individual-level on perceptions of neighbourhood quality from the British Household Panel Survey with detailed PEACE II accounts. Noting potential selection and omitted variables biases, we implement two-stage random effects models and show that neither level of spending, nor number of projects, in a region is associated with improvements in perceptions of neighbourhood quality.
Brück, T. and N. Ferguson (2014). “Money Can’t Buy Love but Can it Buy Peace? Evidence from the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation”. HiCN Working Papers, Nr. 177. The full paper can be found here.

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Lebanon must learn from the Syrian disaster

In their latest op-ed, Tilman Brück and Mounir Mahmalat argue that overlapping crises are threatening the political, economic and social stability of Lebanon. As this column explains, the disaster in Syria provides insights into how grievances can accumulate to a point at which single events can trigger conflict. Elites in Lebanon must commit to a new […]

New paper on the relationship between food security and violent conflict

Charles Martin-Shields and Wolfgang Stojetz published an article in World Development on the interlinkages between food security and violent conflict. This article emphasizes the endogeneity that characterizes the coupling between food (in)security and violent conflict. The authors make three contributions. First, they define conflict and food security using the standard Uppsala Conflict Data Program and the FAO databases, and illustrate […]

ISDC Research Featured in 2019 Rural Development Report

New research on how rural youth experience political violence, conducted by Ghassan Baliki (Senior Researcher at ISDC), Tilman Brück (Director at ISDC), Neil Ferguson (Senior Researcher at ISDC) and Wolfgang Stojetz (Senior Researcher at ISDC) has been highlighted in the 2019 edition of IFAD’s Rural Development Report, “Creating Opportunities for Rural Youth”. The research shows […]