Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Policy Blogs

Current search

Topic

 

An image of two Afghan children walking.

Giving up the “Statebuilding” Ghost: Lessons from Afghanistan for Foreign Assistance in Fragile States

The end of America’s twenty-year war in Afghanistan will change many paradigms that have dominated US foreign policy for decades. President Biden’s recent assertion that military interventions are not the solution to humanitarian crises is a good place to start.  Just as urgent is the need to revisit the notion that foreign assistance can build a state.

UN Women social workers advocate against child marriage during a meeting in the UN Women multipurpose centre's Social Cohesion space in the Gado refugee camp in Central African Republic (CAR).

On Fragility, Tipping Points, and International Coordination

Drawing on work done jointly with CGD, New York University’s Center on International Cooperation (CIC) just released a paper by Marc Jacquand that makes the case for better IFI-UN coordination in fragile states to better identify macroeconomic and political vulnerabilities, anticipate the tipping points that can arise from their interaction, and structure preventive support accordingly. In this blog, we discuss some of the key issues that the CIC paper—and our joint work—raise and plot a course for future research and analysis.

Cape Town at morning rush hour

Anarchy Undelivered

Twenty-five years ago, travel writer and journalist Robert Kaplan wrote an article for The Atlantic, headlined “The Coming Anarchy.” It was an apocalyptic account of Kaplan’s visit to West Africa and his dark vision that much of the world would end up looking like war-torn Sierra Leone. Kaplan suggested recently that he thought “The Coming Anarchy” had stood the test of time. I disagree, and think the fact that Kaplan was wrong matters: global jeremiads are a force for isolationism. I discussed why with The Atlantic’s Matthew Peterson on a new podcast.  

 
A map of Nigerian conflict deaths in 2012 by state

Another Hidden Horror of 21st Century Conflict: Children’s Suffering

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize, awarded last week to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, calls attention to sexual violence during war and civil conflicts—a horror too often unstated and wished away. There’s another largely hidden horror the world needs to reckon with: the toll that civil conflicts, some so local that they rarely make the news, takes on children.

Pages