Rethinking state-building, fragility and conflict

Richard Mallett, Dina Mansour-Ille, Charlotte Morris

Type: Authors, Charlotte Morris, Dina Mansour-Ille, Global, Richard Mallett, Working Paper

Country: Global

Date: 11/04/2017

Full summary

Since 2011, there has been a significant increase in the number of conflicts, forced displacements and individuals killed, particularly in Middle Income Countries, due to continued insecurity in the Middle East. This has led to questions over whether current conflicts are new complex crises, or the re-emergence of historic tensions.


The event at Wilton Park facilitated discussions between aid workers, diplomats and researchers from Afghanistan, South Sudan, Somalia and the Middle East, as well drawing on work by the World Bank, DFID, UN, SLRC, JSRP and PSRP. It raised questions in response to the recent spike in conflicts and practical alternatives for future approaches.



Key recommendations include:


  • Developing appropriate aid modalities, with a particular focus on managing expectations and planning over the longer term, as aid work does not automatically result in greater stability.
  • Prioritising prevention, maintaining adaptable programmes and taking the political and sub-national actors seriously to avoid creating regional and international disorder.
  • Giving due consideration to conflict drivers beyond the state or aid architecture, particularly the impact of identity, economics and geopolitics.