Working Group X: Public Administration in Fragile and Conflict-affected States

Recent history has been marked by numerous conflicts around the world and a large number of post-conflict cases represent a great possibility to relapse into conflict. It appears that weak and failed states are considered to be a threat to international security and therefore their reconstruction needs to be prioritized. In most of these countries, public institutions are non-existent or seriously damaged. Therefore, there is a need to reform or totally rebuild them, often from scratch. In addition, conflict has negative consequences on social and economic welfare, public health care, and is one of the main reasons for the high number of refugees and illegal immigration. Hence, the rebuilding of public administration is a crucial part of the general process of rebuilding and consolidating fragile and conflict-affected states.

A dilemma exists however, on the “road map” to adopt in fragile and conflict-affected scenarios as well as on the best involvement of international, non-state, and non-governmental actors. For instance, including non-state and non-governmental actors in reconstructing and rebuilding fragile states provides these actors access to resources and is supposed to ensure more effective implementation. Nevertheless, while such actors can provide governments with much needed resources to build public sector capabilities and even provide public services, it remains unclear whether the mutual resource dependency of governmental and non-governmental actors actually leads to a net increase in building sustainable governance structures in these contexts.

The following questions will be discussed in this working group:

  • How do we rebuild states when public institutions do not exist or are severely damaged? Which institutions should have priority in this rebuilding process and why?
  • How can international donors and organizations contribute to this process?
  • Who are the new non-state actors that have become visible and influential in this scene?
  • How can governments ensure that the public interest is being served in these modes of partnership?
  • What are the best available practices to build the negotiating and problem-solving capacities of governments in these cooperation/partnership modes?
  • What are the lessons learned for fragile and weak governments?
  • How can education and training in public administration contribute in strengthening the state?

Download the Call for papers



Dr. Tamer Qarmout

Doha Institute for Graduates Studies, Qatar


15 February 2018: Abstract submission deadline
28 February 2018: Authors’ notification
1 June 2018: Final paper submission deadline
1 June 2018: Deadline for registration and payment

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