This paper analyses the influence of perceived violence on livelihood decisionmaking of indigenous households in post conflict Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh following a formal peace treaty in 1997. The study results suggest that households perceiving high risk of violence spend less on consumption expenditure and are sending children to school more, cultivating more land and engaged more in producing mixed subsistence and cash crops. Using both quantitative and qualitative data this study finds decreasing emphasis on present consumption, long term investment in human capital, using land more intensively to earn more cash and move towards creating surplus instead of producing for subsistence, which suggests perceived violence is producing decisions which are similar to those advocated in a classical ‘modernization process’. Findings of this paper are similar to the argument of ‘post traumatic growth theory’ and indicates a post-conflict ‘phoenix’ factor may be in operation at the household level in which some income raising livelihood decisions are made as a consequence of fear of renewed violence. In the short run, the ‘phoenix’ factor appears to operate through both increased land use and cash crop cultivation and in the long run through increased human capital.

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International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)
ISS Working Papers - General Series
ISS Working Paper Series / General Series
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Mohammad, B. (2011). Incorporating perceptions and experiences of violence into livelihood decision-making. ISS Working Paper Series / General Series (Vol. 516, pp. 1–56). Retrieved from