Foreign Assistance and Political Development in Fragile States

The Pearson Institute will host Foreign Assistance and Political Development in Fragile States, a conference on the problems of state-building. Under the leadership of David L. Pearson Distinguished Service Professor of Global Conflict Studies Roger Myerson, this conference will bring together social scientists and policy practitioners to discuss what the international community can do to promote positive political development in failed and fragile states.

The conference will meet online, via Zoom, on May 15 and 16, 2020, from 9:00am to 5:00pm Central Time (Chicago) each day.

Conference organizers' introductory perspectives on future state-building challenges

Discussion led by David Lake [text], Roger Myerson [text], David Laitin [slides], and James Fearon [text].

Problems of long-term credibility of donor commitments

Presentations by Jacob Shapiro [text] and Carter Malkasian [text]

Discussion by Barbara Smith

Session Chair: David Lake

Problems of building effective nonpolitical security forces in a weak state

Presentations by Will Reno [text] and Raul Sanchez de la Sierra [text]

Discussion by Michael Miklaucic

Session Chair: James Fearon

Negotiating elite bargains and incorporating warlords in the state

Presentations by Christine Cheng & Jonathan Goodhand [slides] [paper], and Dipali Mukhopadhyay [text]

Discussion by Barry Weingast and Patrick Quirk

Session Chair: James Fearon

Distributing power between national and local authorities

Presentations by Jennifer Murtazashvili [text] and Roger Myerson [text] [slides]

Discussion by Larry Sampler [text]

Session Chair: David Laitin

Problems of host resistance to reform and donor conditionality

Presentations by Desha Girod [text], Aila Matanock [slides]

Discussion by Keith Mines  [slides]

Session Chair: David Laitin

Meddling by foreign powers that undermines state-building

Presentations by Stathis Kalyvas [text] and James Fearon [text]

Discussion by Kael Weston

Session Chair: David Lake

Concluding session on lessons learned

Discussion led by Michael Miklaucic, Rick Barton and Rufus Phillips

Session Chair: Roger Myerson