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The Least Developed Countries Report 1997

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Intended for a broad readership of governments, policy makers, researchers and all those involved with the least developed countries (LDCs) and development policy, this in-depth Report examines economic developments in the LDCs during 1996 and discusses prospects for 1997. It's coverage also includes an examination of: LDCs' external debt; recent economic reforms and performance; agricultural developments and policy reforms; and economies in regress. A statistical annex of basic data is also included.

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Economies in regress: The crisis of governance, state failure and internal conflicts in LDCs

Economic and social regress has afflicted countries in several regions of the world. Instead of development, these countries have experienced a marked deterioration in economic and social conditions. Regress has usually been accompanied by the degeneration of the administrative, coercive and public-service providing capacities of the State, and often, but not always, by internal conflict. In some countries the entire state apparatus has disintegrated amid acute civil strife and war. This process has been described as state failure or state collapse. Institutional degeneration has also affected civil society: many of the social institutions which play a vital role in civic and economic life have been badly damaged, thus weakening the cohesiveness of the social structure. The depreciation of social overhead capital has left societies extremely vulnerable to shocks, whether from external causes, such as invasions, or internal causes, such as ethnic conflicts.

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