Stabilization of Fragile States

  • Fragility and State-Society Relations in South Sudan

    By Kate Almquist Knopf, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, September 2013 southsudanTwo years into South Sudan's state-building effort, Africa's youngest country faces a variety of trials: the threat of renewed conflict with Sudan, localized ethnic-based insurgencies, deepening strains from food shortages, and weak governance structures, among others. Underlying all of these challenges are fragile state-society relations, which have constrained a national dialogue on needed reforms. Trust and confidence in the government can be generated through a concerted effort to build inclusive coalitions of state and nonstate actors, expand independent media, and construct a rules-based, accountable foundation for the new state.

    Download the Research Paper [PDF]: ENGLISHFRANÇAIS

  • Supporting Private Business Growth in African Fragile States

    By Benjamin Leo, Vijaya Ramachandran, and Ross Thuotte, Center for Global Development | 2012 Somali Parliament Even in Africa's fragile states, many businesses are able to adapt and thrive, generating jobs, goods, and services in an otherwise volatile context. However, fragile states are among the lowest recipients of international assistance for the private sector, even compared to other low-income countries. International partners should better support the needs of private businesses in fragile states, as they represent an anchor of stability and a rare positive influence. Core necessities include stronger and more transparent regulatory frameworks as well as improved telecommunications and transportation infrastructure.

    Download the Report [PDF]

    [photo credit: Ahmad Mahmoud/IRIN]
  • Livelihoods, Basic Services and Social Protection in South Sudan

    By Daniel Maxwell, Kirsten Gelsdorf, and Martina Santschi, Overseas Development Institute | July 2012 Construction Frenzy In South Sudan Capital, Juba Since its emergence as a newly independent country in mid-2011, South Sudan has navigated a fragile and ongoing process of state building. Rapid urbanization, a preponderant and still expanding oil sector, and conflicts between emerging and customary land tenure systems are fueling disputes and corruption and weakening the fledgling government. To better understand and meet the needs of its citizenry and consolidate notable advances in agricultural production and the informal economy, the state will need to gather, analyze, and manage information relevant for policymaking.

    Download the Article [PDF]

  • Building Democratic Accountability in Areas of Limited Statehood

    By Joseph Siegle, Paper Presented at the International Studies Association Annual Meeting, “Power, Principles, and Participation in the Global Information Age” | March 2012 Ballots not Bullets Institutions of accountability are instrumental to achieving sustained development and stability, but the starting point for many contexts of limited statehood—autocratic legacies, low social capital, and cultures of impunity—hobbles progress. Limited checks and balances over the executive branch, which often monopolizes power and defies oversight, is a critical problem. In such contexts, non-state mechanisms of accountability—often traditional authorities, media, information and communication technology, civil society groups, and external actors—play critical early roles.

    Download the Paper [PDF]

    [photo credit: Tommy Trenchard/IRIN]

  • Stress-Testing South Africa: The Tenuous Foundations of One of Africa’s Stable States

    By Assis Malaquias, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, July 2011 townships_sa

    Political violence in South Africa is worsening and indicates the country’s potential fragility. Since the end of apartheid, steadily rising inequality has deepened the divide between a wealthy minority and a poor majority. Frustration with an uneven pace of change often ignites into violent protest. Elite competition for financial and political resources available through the state also drives violence within and between competing political parties, usually at the local level where intimidation and assassination are sometimes used to ensure electoral success. Much competition exists in a grey area where the distinction between politics and crime is blurred.

    South Africans still overwhelmingly support the democratic process and view the government as legitimate. From this foundation the state can move to head off emerging political violence and stem ebbing public trust. This will require breaking up the current intertwining of political authority and economic opportunity. Citizens must also see tangible evidence that government is interested in the socioeconomic priorities of ordinary people.

    Download the Research Paper [PDF]: ENGLISHFRANÇAISPORTUGUÊS

  • Supporting Statebuilding in Situations of Conflict and Fragility: Policy Guidance

    peacekeeping_cote_divoireBy The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2011.

    Functioning states are essential to conflict prevention, regional stability, and poverty reduction, yet state fragility remains widespread and currently impacts tens of millions of Africans. Key elements of stabilization strategies include security and justice, revenue and expenditure management, and job creation, but priority should be placed on inclusive state-society interaction and accountability at all times and levels.

    Download the Article: [PDF]

Other Reads