Improving lives and reducing violence through provision of services

1st May 2015
What is the effect of government transfers on civil unrest?

Can government expenditure be used to mitigate unrest and prevent civil violence? Patricia Justino, IDS Conflict Cluster leader and Research Fellow, explores solutions to the violence-poverty trap through the provision of services in India. Justino sees the state to be a key actor in addressing conflict and believes that there is an opportunity for governments to intervene before riots escalate. Government policies and cash transfer programmes can have immediate effects on mitigating conflict.

What is the role of non-state actors in the provision of services to reduce violence and insecurity?

Government and state institutions are important actors in providing access to resources, economic opportunities, and avenues for building human capital. However, IDS researchers show that this is much more complex and that a range of actors, (including armed gangs, local vigilantes and other non-governmental groups including NGOs and citizens’ groups) play significant roles in organising themselves to fill the void left by government failure. An inability to distribute access equitably can result in resentment leading to conflict and violence. Conversely providing citizens with access to these services has been found to reduce violence and insecurity.

Read the blog on Improving lives and reducing violence through provision of services, published on the IDS website.