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Distinguishing “State Fragility” and “State Resilience” in Sub-Saharan Africa Addis Ababa February 2011 James Putzel Crisis States Research Centre London.

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Presentation on theme: "Distinguishing “State Fragility” and “State Resilience” in Sub-Saharan Africa Addis Ababa February 2011 James Putzel Crisis States Research Centre London."— Presentation transcript:

1 Distinguishing “State Fragility” and “State Resilience” in Sub-Saharan Africa Addis Ababa February 2011 James Putzel Crisis States Research Centre London School of Economics

2 How did “fragile states” emerge on the agenda? “Failed states” became a topic in the 1990s – heavily ideologically laden September 11, 2001 attack on World Trade Centre brought a new security concern to the international development community DFID shifted terms from “problematic partners” and the World Bank shifted terms from “Low income countries under stress” (LICUS)

3 OECD Definition of “state fragility” “States are fragile when state structures lack political will and/or capacity to provide the basic functions needed for poverty reduction, development and to safeguard the security and human rights of their populations” (OECD “Principles for Good International Engagement” 2007)

4 Why the adoption of “fragile states” has been positive 1) has led to a significant increase in official development assistance to the most vulnerable and poverty stricken countries; - A break with the “good governance” edict of channelling most aid as a reward for “good performance”, which was part of the reason for a sharp decline in aid to Sub-Saharan Africa in the 1990s

5 Per capita aid to “fragile” and “non-fragile” countries in Sub-Saharan Africa Source: OECD.stat for data on bilateral aid in constant $. UN Populations statistics for per capita calculations. Fragile and non-fragile are Sub-Saharan African countries below and above 3.2 respectively on World Bank’s CPIA index 2009.

6 2) Has put “state-building” at the top of international development community agenda - after decades of rolling back the state, new attention to the need for developing capacity (Capacity to do what, however, remains a debate) 3) Recognise “context” as central, so no “one size fits all”. - While seeming self-evident, in international aid circles this was a big step forward.

7 Three Problems with the OECD definition of fragility 1.The OECD definition is not anchored in a theory of the state 2.No differentiation between poor countries that have achieved peace and those that have not. 3.No differentiation between fragile and resilient states on the one hand and developmental states on the other

8 1. The OECD definition is not anchored in a theory of the state The OECD definition: -is based in normative prescriptions of donors (countries need exercise “political will”, reduce poverty and defend human rights) -mixes definition with causes and consequences -leads to ludicrous efforts to quantify or measure state fragility

9 World Bank’s Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) Index ‘‘ Fragile states is the term used for countries facing particularly severe development challenges such as weak institutional capacity, poor governance, political instability, and frequently on-going violence or the legacy effects of past severe conflict’. (World Bank 2007: 2). CPIA is used to allocate IDA grants. Any country that scores less than 3.2 or has no CPIA rating is considered as fragile by the Bank. Definitional dimensions of fragility Operational dimensions of fragility Weak Institutional capacity Poor Governance Political Instability Ongoing violence or the legacy effects of past severe conflict vrs Economic Management Structural Policies Policies for Social Inclusion/ Equity Public Sector Management and Institutions

10 The problem of definition also in academic research Stewart and Brown (2010) include as characteristics of fragile states: failures in service delivery (health, education, water and sanitation, transport and energy infrastructure, reduction in poverty) legitimacy failures, including no democracy, where military plays a strong role, where power is acquired by force, where opposition is suppressed, where government controls the media, where significant groups of the population are excluded from power, where there is an absence of civil and political liberties.

11 2. No differentiation between poor countries that have achieved peace and those that have not A definition of fragile states must start from the quantifiably demonstrated proposition that among the least developed countries there is markedly differential performance in terms of : -achieving stability, -securing peace and -establishing basic state functions.

12 Many poor countries in SSA have avoided major conflict Human Development Index ranking out of 182 countries: Tanzania (151) Zambia (164) Countries that ranked lower than Tanzania and Zambia on the HDI, but which have avoided major conflict: Ghana (152), Cameroon (153), Lesotho (156), Togo (159), Malawi (160) Benin (161), Gambia (168), Burkina Faso (177) Niger (182) The question of state fragility MUST BE about why SOME countries at the bottom of the income ladder have spiralled into conflict and state collapse while others have not

13 Half of the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa have avoided civil war

14 “Resilient states” Identifying “fragility” requires a category of “state resilience” -State may preside over economic stagnation, poverty and only imperfectly defend human rights -“Buying in” elites and their social constituencies -State as site of decision-making State resilience creates the space for state-building -National identity and institutions of citizenship -Intercommunity communication -Territorial boundaries are accepted -National laws largely are recognised

15 The difference between Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo Tanzania is a relatively stable and resilient state, surrounded by a sea of warfare and constant host to huge communities of refugees, but has nevertheless enjoyed peaceful social reproduction The DRC where internecine warfare between 1998 and 2004 led to the deaths of 3.9 million people and today the killing continues with soldiers of the state among the worst perpetrators of violence and rape. Instead of asking “Why is Tanzania so poor?” it is enlightening to ask “Why has Tanzania maintained peace despite its poverty?”

16 3. No differentiation between Fragile & Resilient States Developmental States China, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia (or even those that have shown developmental impulses like Botswana and Rwanda today) Actions launching accelerated growth require shifts in political settlement and elite bargains Accelerated development can bring new sources of conflict

17 Summary on fragility Donor and mainstream definitions are based on a bifurcation of states between: -developed liberal democracies -developing states without political will to achieve poverty reduction and the defence of human rights False notion that “all good things go together” - MISSES THE POINT OF WHAT MAKES FRAGILE STATES DISTINCT FROM ALL POOR STATES “State Fragility is NOT principally about development Donors must adopt a category of “resilient states” - As important for understanding “fragility” as it is for understanding “developmental states”

18 CSRC Alternative: Defining characteristics of fragility-resilience spectrum State fragility  Armed challenges threaten state power  State territorial reach limited  Non-state taxation  Institutional multiplicity (CSRC) State Resilience  Monopoly of legitimate violence  State reaches significant territory  Monopoly of taxation  Institutional hegemony

19 Unlike the reigning definitions this definition is anchored in theories about the state -Role of security: Weberian and Tillian understanding of the role of security (Interestingly taken another step by North et al Violence and Social Orders, 2009) -The territorial reach of the state also in Weberian terms -Taxation: North (1982): state = an organisation with comparative advantage in violence extending over geographic area whose boundaries are determined by power to tax constituents; Burke: “revenue IS the state” (Di John 2011): -Institutional multiplicity: When rules of state consistently over-ridden by non-state rules: traditional, warlords, religious PARSIMONIOUS AND POSSIBLE TO MEASURE (and least first three dimensions)

20 An appropriate definition highlights particular policy objectives for “fragile states” If the category of “state fragility” is meaningful at all, it needs to highlight what is different about states vulnerable to conflict and what are the SPECIFIC interventions and policies that are appropriate Adopting a clearer definition of state fragility not only allows the identification of countries particularly at risk of collapse but also suggests priority areas of action that can stabilise states.

21 Legitimate Security is a precondition for all other governance reforms When the state’s security forces are either incapable of defeating non-state armed challengers or where the state cannot maintain power without unleashing violence on the population, priority must be given to: - Establishing a unified chain of command, - Ending abusive practices against citizens, - Paying salaries of officers and enlisted personnel - Ensuring security forces have a basic capacity to provide protection to elites and non-elites. - Delaying Demobilisation until there are opportunities for gainful employment and armed forces deployed in socially constructive ways. A precondition for security sector reform AND governance reforms like competitive elections, decentralisation and devolution.

22 State Monopoly Over Taxation Taxation is a key indicator for measuring resilience and fragility and state performance more generally In terms of state fragility what is most important is that NO rival organisations control significant taxation A state’s taxation capacity can provide an objective means to assess the power, authority and legitimacy the state has to mobilise resources The degree to which the state monopolises tax collection, and the level, diversity and manner of collection of taxes all provide indications of a state’s position on the fragility to resilience spectrum.

23 Territorial reach of state organisations Reach of the state’s organisations into “significant” territory is a central indicator of fragility and resilience Territory is significant when it is a site of major human settlement, economic resource mobilization or borders on neighbouring zones of conflict. Programmes that aim to decentralize or devolve power in areas where the state is hardly present can aggravate fragility, programmes that promote economic and social integration of the state’s territory, even if economically “inefficient”, may be important to establishing state resilience.

24 Institutional hegemony of state rules Establishing the dominance of the state’s institutions is central to resilience A state must either incorporate or subordinate rival rule systems whether anchored among regional, ethnic, traditional, religious or warlord actors in rural or urban areas Non-state institutions can act as important sources of legitimacy to those who mount violent challenges to the state. Assessing this can guide the design of programmes promoting participation, decentralisation, devolution, the use of private and NGOs to deliver services.

25 Some Implications for economic policies Pay attention to horizontal inequalities - In conditions of state fragility, access to wealth and incomes tends to be exclusionary and unequal, so economic interventions and planning need to aim to reduce “horizontal inequalities. Pay attention to internal economic integration - Most prescriptions for economic reform aim at integrating economies into world systems of trade and investment without attention to developing internal linkages crucial to state resilience and development Formalise informal economic activities - Informal economy is a site of exclusion and the raising of resources to challenge the state Recognise that rents may be central to peace building

26 External Drivers of Violent Conflict and Fragility and Policy Implications Military Interventions - asymmetric power of invading forces - Justifications: “mission civilisatrice”, safeguard security, protect human rights - Make democracy less likely (Gutierrez et al) Trans-border armed groups and refugees - war “next door” (de Waal, 2000; Fearon and Laitin, 2003). - refugees from “wars next door” (Lischer, 2005) Externally imposed structural reforms - Structural Adjustment/Democratisation with no attention to “political settlements” (Di John and Putzel 2009)

27 “Deadly Sequence” Democratic Republic of Congo GDP, Structural Adjustment, Violence

28 Development aid promoting a “dual public sector” - Aid delivered outside state systems can create alternative sites of decision making and patronage and undermine or pre-empt the consolidation of state organisations (OECD, 2010) Illicit trade in drugs, arms and minerals - markets for illegal drugs (Gambetta, 1993) sources of finance for violent challenges to states – the “war on drugs” ineffective – Recent stance of Colombian President - arms trade: receiving almost no international attention - minerals exploitation and informalisation of the mining sector finance violent challenges (Mitchell and Garrett, 2009)

29 Establishing state resilience can insulate states against both external crises and the disruptive and violence- provoking characteristics of future economic development.

30 Why does this make a difference? Security: Becomes a first order issue - DRC Value achievements of Rwanda and worry about Uganda Governance Ensure reforms do not undermine elite bargain that buys peace Very different approach on speed, prioritisation of electoral reforms Very different attitude toward “traditional authorities” – reject idealism of its role

31 Economic policy - Deadly sequence in DRC and Rwanda in past. Recognise state role in changing incentive structures elites face: - Rwanda – state and business


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