The World Bank Development Report 2011 addresses the developmental challenges of violent conflict and fragile states. Central to this analysis is the notion of war as development in reverse and recursive violence in a number of conflict-prone states. The costs of violence can be addressed through the optic of legitimate political institutions in which citizen rights and justice are central. Watts examines the Bank’s important analysis and the conceptual approach they adopt in their account of the development-conflict nexus. He explores the forms of violence (so-called “new conflicts”) and their dynamics, and how the policy prescriptions proposed stand in relation to the historical role and character of the multilateral and bilateral development institutions.