Tag Archives: inclusiveness
The below are excerpts from an article originally appearing in World Politics Review.
The conditions for revolt or revolution to spread throughout society are reasonably well established: First, the national government must be closed to broad participation or popular control. Second, the government must be weakened by some sort of crisis. This crisis may be a material one, such as a military or development failure, fiscal distress, sustained inflation or sharp spikes in food prices. Or the crisis may be ideological, as when a government seeks to impose an ideology that is widely opposed by its own elites, or when a government is seen as compromised by identification with foreign enemies. Or it may be a succession crisis that leads elites to shift allegiances and contend for power in a coming leadership change. Several of these items may combine to create a widespread sense of uncertainty and anxiety about the future.
In such periods of social anxiety, a great deal depends on which groups are willing to support the regime and which groups still perceive the leadership as legitimate. Governments that are perceived as just and effective generally retain the support of key elites and thus popular groups; they are therefore quite resistant in the face of . . . challenges. On the other hand, states that are widely considered ineffective or unjust by their population rapidly lose key supporters and can succumb with astounding quickness in the face of challenges — as in the Philippines in 1986, the Soviet Union in 1989 and Tunisia and Egypt in 2010-2011. (more…)
International efforts to help developing countries start with a mental model of how government should be structured. It is based on the most common European model of state building—a model initially developed by France but shared by most countries today. European history did, however, have another model, one that is not well remembered but that may be much more useful for fragile states—the Swiss model. (more…)
Improving security and justice in fragile states is a major theme for political leaders, scholars, and donors. Foreign aid agencies have spent billions attempting to catalyze improvements in these areas within other countries. Yet despite this money and much hard work, the track record of past efforts has been paltry.
A large part of the reason can be traced to how these issues–and the concept of state building–is approached. (more…)
What policies and governance conditions are needed in Africa for it to match the economic and social achievements of Asia? This video, from a presentation at Johns Hopkins University, presents some answers. It presents the findings of two research projects, with important implications for the future of development in Africa. Note the focus on developmental states. It is the nature of the regime more than the way it gains power that matters. (more…)