State fragility can take on a number of forms: a state’s insufficient monopoly on the use of force, the failure of basic state services, and deficient state legitimacy. Which forms of structural instability do we currently face? And will declining state authority, capacity and legitimacy be accompanied by increasing conflict intensity? Will this lead to a conflict-ridden power vacuum? As the causes of fragility also vary – from drug mafias to religious extremism –, how might conflict management of political decision-makers adapt to a variety of challenges in order to effectively deescalate and mitigate tensions? These questions will be addressed in the working paper “The persistent challenge of fragility and conflict” by Jörn Grävingholt (German Development Institute) and Sebastian Ziaja (Heidelberg University).
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