Foreign aid and the fragile consensus on state fragility

Foreign aid and the fragile consensus on state fragility

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Faust, Jörg / Jörn Grävingholt / Sebastian Ziaja
Discussion Paper 8/2013

Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

ISBN: 978-3-88985-611-1
Price: 6 €

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Most actors in the field of foreign aid agree with the call for coordinated engagement in fragile states in order to more effectively counter the consequences and origins of state failure. However, despite such demands, governments from OECD countries as well as multilateral agencies that are engaged in fragile states often continue to act in an uncoordinated manner and fail to reach higher levels of harmonisation. Why is effective coordination so hard to achieve? This article argues that three major challenges explain the persistent problems of donor harmonisation in fragile states: (1) the cognitive challenge of explaining the origins of state fragility and deducing effective instruments and interventions; (2) the political challenge of reconciling divergent political motives for engagement; as well as (3) the challenge related to the organisational logic of competing aid agencies.

About the authors

Faust, Jörg

Political Scientist

Grävingholt, Jörn

Political Scientist

Grävingholt

Ziaja, Sebastian

Political Scientist

Ziaja

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