How do effective states emerge?

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    Project Manager :
    Kunal Sen

    This project examines the role of capable, committed and accountable states in delivering inclusive development. Further, it will look into the economic and political drivers of how such states emerge, especially in conflict-affected and fragile environments, and what interventions development partners can use to support these developments.

    State capability is defined as the institutional capacity of the state to carry out various policies that can bring about inclusive economic growth, as well as deliver benefits and services to households and firms. The analysis of state capability has emerged as the cutting edge of research on the relationship between governance, institutions, and economic development.

    This project aims to generate high quality, high impact research on a set of core issues relating to effective states in both fragile and non-fragile country contexts. It will explore questions around the conditions for effective states and local political leadership to emerge and will create a blueprint for a new way for development partners to approach economic growth and private sector development in countries experiencing conflict or fragility.

    The project is divided into two independent core areas. For the first core area, lab experiments with municipal politicians are being conducted in India with the aim of providing new insights about local governance in non-fragile contexts. For the second core area, a policy innovation lab is being organized with the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and other development partners. The lab will bring together economic growth and governance experts alongside scholars to incorporate political economy insights to understand and improve interventions in fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS).

    The project will feed into discussions around SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) in the UN, bilateral and multilateral development partners, as well in governments in the Global South.