Project Overview

Recent policy literature on fragile states shows that donors have refined their understanding of fragility and of the state itself. It also shows they have taken steps to adapt their cooperation on the basis of this new understanding.

This project takes stock of this new policy thinking and aims to further the reflection on challenges to aid and development cooperation in fragile states, while taking a critical look at some of the gaps that remain. It is meant to promote a constructive dialogue between academic and policy communities on issues of fragility, cooperation and effectiveness.

Building on in-depth empirical evidence, case-based or comparative studies, the end product illustrates that, though increasingly more context-sensitive, the new policy perspective neglects some key social and political realities on the ground, relations between partners and international donors, and, just as importantly, how those relations affect development cooperation. In the spirit of dialogue across academic-policy lines, it also concludes with three practitioners’ take on the latest policy thinking, and more specifically the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States.


Marie-Eve Desrosiers
Stephen Baranyi
Christoph Zuercher
Pierre Beaudet
Nassar Ibrahim
Gérard Muringa
David Booth
Tobias Nussbaum
Eugenia Zorbas
Michael Koros


Cover page

Special issue of Conflict Security & Development, Vol 12, Issue 5, 2012