Strengthening Fragile States in an Era of Growing Global Disorder

Day 2
Session 3
3:20 PM

Fragile states are plagued by deeply entrenched sociopolitical and institutional problems. They harbor uniquely formidable obstacles to stability, development and democracy. Too often, international efforts to aid transitions in these places fail because they emphasize the importance of the vertical state–society relationship and social contract while completely ignoring the factors shaping the horizontal dynamics within society that determine how the state–society relationship evolves and whether or not such a contract can even be fashioned. A better approach would address these latter challenges straight on, by developing a “social covenant” that brings together various ethnic, religious, clan and ideological groups to create a more inclusive and sustainable political process and social contract.

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