Transformation and development in fragile states

This comparative project investigates the effects of external support for transformation processes in fragile states. It builds on a distinction of few major types of fragile statehood. For each type, it analyses which factors explain the success or failure of external development or foreign policy interventions to further stability and democracy.

Project Lead:
Jörn Grävingholt
Julia Leininger

Project Team:
Charlotte Fiedler
Karina Mross

Sebastian Ziaja

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Time frame:
2011 - 2014 / completed

Project description

International support for the establishment and preservation of democracy and rule of law, as well as for the implementation of human rights is of crucial importance in the relationship between OECD countries and fragile states. At the same time, comprehensive social and political transformation processes can, at least temporarily, contribute to the destabilisation of states and the aggravation of fragility. With this in mind, the following (country-) comparative project aims at:

  • Developing a typology of fragile states, linking the latter to various forms of intervention within developing and foreign policies;
  • Investigating expectations related to the quality and depth of socio-political transformation processes in fragile states;
  • Analysing the interaction of different forms of governance support in these contexts, i.e. democracy promotion, decentralisation, state-building and peace facilitation, in an attempt to formulate realistic expectations and time horizons for the international support of these processes in different fragile contexts.

Country cases analysed include Burundi, El Salvador, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Philippines, Senegal and Timor Leste.


Project Coordination

Judith Schubert