/ Research, Continuing Education

States of fragility: Where to in 2019?

swisspeace policy brief by Dominik Balthasar

State fragility has resonated in global public policy-making since the turn of the millennium. Having featured prominently in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, fragility has not only been perceived to lie at the heart of civil wars in impoverished countries, but also deemed a threat to global peace and stability. In defiance of an otherwise fast-paced world of fashionable terms and ephemeral buzzwords, fragility continues to be perceived as ‘the issue of our time’. Based on the assumption that fragile states cannot break the vicious cycle of poverty and violence by themselves, the ‘international community’ has heavily intervened in contexts of fragility. Yet, when taking stock of past efforts geared at tackling fragility, it becomes clear that national and international policymakers have yet to find an adequate approach. This policy brief asks where the debate on fragility has come to stand.