The pro-business effects of paramilitary terror in Colombia : appreciating different types of political violence and their economic impacts

Maher, DJ ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0948-5476 2022, 'The pro-business effects of paramilitary terror in Colombia : appreciating different types of political violence and their economic impacts' , in: Paramilitary Groups and the State under Globalization : political violence, elites, and security , Routledge Advances in Sociology , Routledge, pp. 35-52.

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Access Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge/CRC Press in Paramilitary Groups and the State under Globalization : political violence, elites, and security on 31st December 2021, available online: http://www.routledge.com/9780367233532

Abstract

Scholarly investigations into conflict and development have typically highlighted the acutely negative economic effects of political violence. This includes terrorism, which, according to the relevant literature, can have deeply inimical effects on economic growth. Others have highlighted that certain types of terrorism, such as business-related terrorism (e.g. terrorist attacks that target or affect the buildings, products, and employees of multinational corporations), have a negative impact on a country’s ability to attract FDI, while non-business-related terrorism that does not target foreign businesses had no significant effect. While this research at least attempts to nuance the debate, it overlooks the possibility that terrorist activities might benefit processes of economic development such as FDI. This chapter argues that the literature on terrorism and economic development – similar to literature on other types of political violence such as civil wars – is underpinned by a flawed liberal assumption that violence and economic growth are incongruent. By adopting a critical approach that appreciates the often-violent tendencies of global capitalism, this chapter argues that certain types of terrorist violence can lead to economic development by creating conditions that are attractive to domestic and foreign capital. A case in point is paramilitary terror. Using the example of Colombia, this chapter considers how terrorism perpetrated by the right-wing paramilitaries in the country has been instrumental in creating conditions that have facilitated processes of economic development, including inward flows of FDI and increases in exports. The first underlying theme of this chapter is to, therefore, highlight that, while terrorism may indeed be business related or non-business related, a third category needs to be considered: “pro-business” terrorism. The second theme is to highlight that paramilitarism can constitute this latter form of terrorism. It is also important to note that this violent form of development has deeply inimical effects on large swathes of people.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Hristov, J, Sprague-Silgado, J and Tauss, A
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Publisher: Routledge
Series Name: Routledge Advances in Sociology
ISBN: 9780367233532 (hardback); 9780429279430 (ebook)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr DJ Maher
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2021 08:56
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 16:52
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/62098

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