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Rethinking State Fragility

Publications •

Following a conference the British Academy held on Tuesday 4 November 2014 it has published a collection of essays on Rethinking State Fragility from independent analysts and seasoned practitioners that illustrates some of the challenges and contestation in working in areas of conflict and insecurity, and offers insights for future practice and policy. The contributors to the collection are Professor Sarah Birch FBAProfessor Sir Adam Roberts KCMG FBASally HealyProfessor Richard CaplanTom Rodwell and Christian DennysIvan CampbellRahul Roy-ChaudhurySir Sherard Cowper-Coles KCMG LVOPhilip Lewis and Professor Dame Helen Wallace DBE CMG FBA, and Professor Mats Berdal.

The conference explored post-conflict transitions, enduring political settlements, and engagement with so-called fragile states, which keep rising to the top of policymakers, practitioners and researchers focus. In the light of the new UK Government Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, and the continuing resonance today of our engagement with conflict, stability and security around the world the conference discussed these issues, and examined the lessons learnt from previous interventions, stabilisation operations and statebuilding exercises.

Sessions at the conference included the UK’s engagement with conflict, stability and security; differing approaches and perspectives, particularly from emerging powers, to the dilemmas engagement with conflict, stability and security can create, including resistance to the fragile states terminology and the Responsibility to Protect; focused sessions on Somalia & the Horn of Africa, Ukraine, the DRC, and Lebanon; how to achieve enduring political settlements and transitions; and, rethinking state fragility.

Speakers at the conference included Rt. Hon. the Lord Ashdown of Norton sub-Hamdon GCMG KBE, Professor Mats Berdal, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles KCMG LVO, Professor James Mayall FBA, Professor Ken Menkhaus, Dr Gérard Prunier, and Professor John Darwin FBA.

Download Rethinking State Fragility here


Publication date: 20 May 2016