Fragile States: Securing Development (2008)

Extracted 19JUL2011 from

Speech by Robert B. Zoellick, President of The World Bank Group, to The International Institute for Strategic Studies, Geneva, Switzerland  September 12, 2008

"The trauma of fragile states and the interconnections of globalization require our generation to recognize anew the nexus among economics, governance, and security.  Most wars are now conflicts within states, and fragile states account for most of them.  But our knowledge about how best to respond remains thin."

"Yet these situations require looking beyond the analytics of development – to a different framework of building security, legitimacy, governance, and economy.  This is not security as usual, or development as usual.  Nor is it about what we have come to think of as peacebuilding or peacekeeping.  This is about Securing Development – bringing security and development together first to smooth the transition from conflict to peace and then to embed stability so that development can take hold over a decade and beyond.  Only by securing development can we put down roots deep enough to break the cycle of fragility and violence."

"A recent study by RAND examines the problems of fragile states in terms of the overlaps among government, economy, and security.  Breakdowns in any of these areas, the analysis argues, reinforces breakdown in the others.  The result is not just a conflict trap, but a web of unfit government, economic collapse, and insecurity that breeds violence. " [Marla C. Haims, David C. Gompert, Gregory F. Treverton, Brooke K. Stearns, “Breaking the Failed-State Cycle,” RAND, (2008)]

"the most critical challenges are concentrated where governance, economy, and security intersect.  We need to integrate a variety of tools—military, political, legal, developmental, financial, and technical—and a variety of actors, including states, international organizations, civil society, and the private sector.  This will not be easy."

"To assist in drawing the disciplines together, let me suggest ten considerations to help figure out what to do – or at least what questions to ask – in fragile situations."

  1. First, Focus on Building Legitimacy of the State
  2. Provide Security
  3. Building Rule of Law and Legal Order
  4. Bolster Local and National Ownership
  5. Ensure Economic Stability – as a Foundation for Growth and Opportunity
  6. Pay Attention to the Political Economy
  7. Crowd in the Private Sector
  8. Coordinate Across Institutions and Actors
  9. Consider the Regional Context
  10. Recognize the Long-term Commitment