Many studies have examined the determinants of ethnic conflicts in multi-ethnic developing countries and report on myriad contributory factors including economic, political, and cultural issues. It is natural to observe many correlates because ethnic wars tend to gain their own momentum and proceed for a variety of reasons that are not directly related to the initial causes. Some interventions are necessary to end an ethnic war. The objective of this paper is to draw attention to the conditions necessary to sustain ethnic peace. Good governance, high and shared growth often top the list of conditions necessary to achieve ethnic peace. How to get good governance in developing countries is a key question. Longing for an enlightened leader to emerge and set everything right is utopian. In this exercise it is argued that openness to foreign trade and investment is an essential precondition in achieving good governance and high growth. Openness acts as a disciplining force on governments regardless whether they are democratic or authoritarian. Empirical evidence is presented here to support the case.
Sri Lankan Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Vol.1(2) Oct 2009