The last decade has witnessed the emergence of numerous policies seeking to improve people’s well-being and economic development in places that have come to be labelled as fragile: environments that are affected by or prone to violent conflict, or both. What are the major arguments, assumptions and trends that characterise these policies and what are the main issues on which they differ?
These are the questions the IS Academy Human Security in Fragile States sought to explore – in its final year – by commissioning a policy review of international and Dutch policies on socio-economic development in fragile settings. The aim of this review was to discern general patterns and trends and to identify key issues around which much of the current policy debate revolves.
Based on desk research and interviews with 15 policy experts, a number of influential Dutch and international policy documents were selected, analysed and compared in terms of their primary policy goal, problem analysis and proposed policy response. The general trends emerging from this review provided the framework for subsequent discussion of key issues that are likely to remain high on the policy agenda in the coming years.
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