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Determinants of State Fragility and Implications for Aid Allocation: An Assessment Based on the Country Indicators for Foreign Policy Project

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  • Carment, David
  • Prest, Stewart
  • Samy, Yiagadeesen

Abstract

This paper is derived from our ongoing research on fragile states funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to help policymakers and analysts make decisions on where and how to allocate aid, especially in fragile state environments. In order for development assistance to have a measurable and positive impact on fragile states, it is necessary to understand both how and why they become fragile. First, we reconceptualize the meaning of state fragility with equal attention given to the authority, legitimacy and capacity of a state, collectively referred to as ALC. Measures of these ALC components corresponding to six different categories of state performance?economics, governance, security and crime, human development, demographics, and the environment?are collected for all countries for the period 1999-2005. Initial testing of our fragility index shows that fragility is driven by a number of factors, of which the level of development seems to be more important. We complement this analysis by examining state fragility using the ALC framework. Overall, the approach presented has the distinct advantage of identifying country-specific patterns of fragility while at the same time allowing for broad strategically relevant measures of comparative performance that can be of use to policymakers regarding allocation of aid at the sectoral and programming level. Notwithstanding the fact that aid may be allocated for political and strategic reasons, and that fragile states are under funded, we argue that aid that does flow to fragile states could be better targeted. Specifically, it could strengthen the underlying determinants of fragility by addressing fragile states? distinct and country-specific weaknesses in authority, legitimacy and capacity. Finally, we discuss policy implications of our analysis and directions for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Carment, David & Prest, Stewart & Samy, Yiagadeesen, 2008. "Determinants of State Fragility and Implications for Aid Allocation: An Assessment Based on the Country Indicators for Foreign Policy Project," WIDER Working Paper Series 046, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2008-46
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wim Naudé, 2010. "Africa And The Global Economic Crisis: A Risk Assessment And Action Guide," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 27, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
    2. Graziella Bertocchi, 2011. "Growth, Colonization, and Institutional Development. In and Out of Africa," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 064, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    3. Francesco Forte & Mihai Mutascu, 2015. "State fragility and fiscal decentralization in EU ex-communist countries in a public choice approach," Working Papers halshs-01101558, HAL.
    4. Makochekanwa, Albert & Kwaramba, Marko, 2010. "Dwindling access to basic services in Zimbabwe," MPRA Paper 28271, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Patrick GUILLAUMONT & Sylviane GUILLAUMONT JEANNENEY, 2009. "State fragility and economic vulnerability: What is measured and why?," Working Papers P07, FERDI.
    6. Graziella Bertocchi & Andrea Guerzoni, 2010. "Growth, History, or Institutions? What Explains State Fragility in Sub-Saharan Africa," Department of Economics 0625, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    7. Francisco Gutiérrez Sanín & Diana Buitrago & Andrea González, 2013. "Aggregating Political Dimensions: Of the Feasibility of Political Indicators," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 110(1), pages 305-326, January.

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    Keywords

    foreign aid; fragile states;

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