Research Monitor

Fragile States: an Urgent Challenge for EU Foreign Policy

16 Mar 2015

Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Dialogo Exterior (FRIDE); Author: Clare Castillejo

Addressing the challenge of fragile states should be a central priority for European policy-makers. It is clear that fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS) can threaten Europe’s own security and prosperity. Moreover, the global goods that the EU seeks to promote cannot be achieved while a significant proportion of the world’s states remain weak, conflict prone and unable to effectively manage their own affairs or participate in collective multilateral action. Finally, the EU’s own norms and policies commit it to assisting those populations most severely affected by poverty, conflict, and human rights violations, many of whom live in FCAS.

China’s Engagement in International Development Cooperation: The State of the Debate

04 Mar 2015

Institute of Development Studies (IDS); Authors: Yanbing Zhang, Jing Gu and Yunnan Chen

This research aims to investigate the recent evolution of China’s discourse on development and aid. More precisely, how do China’s policymakers and influential scholars understand and debate China’s role in the field of international development aid, specifically in the context of China as a ‘rising power’? However, to reflect upon Chinese discourse in this manner is contrary to the Chinese perspective itself, where development and aid are rarely referred to in relation to each other. Instead, in the Chinese mind-set, to this day, national development and foreign aid seem to be two unrelated issues.

Good Governance Facades

23 Feb 2015

Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI); Authors: Kalle Moene and Tina Søreide

Fashions come and go in the development community. When a policy idea becomes popular, some governments implement a cosmetic variant of the policy. What looks like development, are institutional façades; pretty from the outside, ugly from the inside. A good governance façade can be introduced deliberately to mislead observers and stakeholders to cover political theft. This paper argues that rents can be extracted under the cover of executing good policies; that nominally beneficial policies permit corrupt decision-makers to hide in plain sight.

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