Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 
An image of a box containing weapons behind a fence

Undermining Global Security: Measuring the Risk of Arms Exports and Commitment to Development

Just weeks into his presidency, Joe Biden announced a suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This follows similar promising commitments from Italy last month. As security and development are mutually reinforcing concepts, what countries do on arms exports matters for development. We look at arms exports across all major economies—both in terms of value and their “conflict potential.” We analyse the extent to which the choice of arms customers is likely to increase risk and undermine development, and highlight which countries should be taking more action on reducing the conflict potential of their arms exports.

Stock photo of oil pumpjacks

How Can Countries Escape the Natural Resource Curse? Answer: Democracy

How can countries escape the natural resource curse? And to what extent do cohesive and democratic institutions facilitate this process? In a new CGD working paper, we look at Nigeria—often seen as the prime example of a country cursed by its wealth. We show that when political institutions are cohesive and power is shared among the diverse groups in a multi-ethnic society, political contests over resource revenues are less likely to be violent. What produces cohesive institutions? Democratic elections.