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A fragile guideline to development assistance


  • Simone Bertoli


  • Elisa Ticci



The concept of fragility has gained an increasing relevance in the development discourse. Still, fragility remains a fuzzy and elusive concept. This paper presents a review of the literature, and it identifies two main sets of definitions of fragility, which substantially differ in their focus and breadth, and that reflect evolution of the discourse around this developmental concept. The limited consensus that is found in the literature suggests that the analytical salience and the direct operational value-added of this concept still remain unclear. Nevertheless the debate around state fragility played an important advocacy role, and it has offered key methodological insights with respect to the challenges that donors face, and on what it can be realistically achieved through external engagement.

Suggested Citation

  • Simone Bertoli & Elisa Ticci, 2011. "A fragile guideline to development assistance," Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID) University of Siena 0511, Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID), University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:depfid:0511

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    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 56(3), pages 291-299, September.
    3. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    4. Thomas I. Palley, 2007. "Financialization: What It Is and Why It Matters," Working Papers wp153, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    5. Vercelli,Allessandro, 1991. "Methodological Foundations of Macroeconomics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521392945, March.
    6. Laidler,David, 1999. "Fabricating the Keynesian Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521641739, March.
    7. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
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    More about this item


    state fragility; development assistance; aid effectiveness.;

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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