The security-development discourse combines a concern with poverty and economic growth with that of national, regional and global security. It incorporates country-level analyses within a broader framework of transnational issues that impact on conflict dynamics.
Issues of poverty and inequality reflect power relations framed by international forces. It is generally thought that isolating any one factor as the only driver of conflict and instability is to deny the complex inter-relation between various factors, both internal and external. A thorough consideration of the motivating and sustaining factors in conflict suggests that hard-and-fast distinctions between ‘internal’ and ‘external’ influences in a conflictual or unstable setting are not easy to maintain.
Issues highlighted include the following:
- Links between climate change, migration, and conflict
- Dependence on foreign aid and financial investments as a factor in inducing conflict and instability
- The (as yet unclear) role of remittances in conflict
- Revenue from natural resources and the role of international actors in creating economic incentives that can fuel conflict and instability
- International trade in arms and drugs as a proximate rather than structural factor contributing to conflict.
While global drivers have a significant role to play, they often act as triggers for underlying sentiments: it is also important to consider internal dynamics (local, national or regional).