State fragility and international development co-operation

Research output: Preprint or Working paperWorking paper


Over the past few years addressing state fragility in the third world has become an important priority in international development cooperation. However, it seems that the international donor community has so far not been able to develop adequate instruments for dealing with the problems posed by state failure. We see two reasons for this: (i) there is growing recognition within the donor community that the lack of absorptive capacity, or bad economic policies in the partner country can actually make aid counterproductive, even harmful; and (ii) it is very difficult to manage effective development cooperation with weak governments. Channelling aid through NGOs, or giving limited aid in the form of capacity-building is clearly not sufficient to solve the problems fragile states face.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)92-9190-970-X, 978-92-9190-970-4
Publication statusPublished - May 2007

Publication series

NameWIDER Research Paper
ISSN (Print)1810-2611

Bibliographical note



  • development cooperation
  • aid
  • failed states
  • state failure
  • absorptive capacity
  • Dutch disease
  • selectivity
  • good policies
  • Millennium Challenge Account


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