Frauke de Weijer
Frauke de Weijer is currently working as a policy officer on conflict, security and resilience at the European Centre for Development Policy Management, and is also an associate fellow at the Center for International Development, Harvard Kennedy School, USA. De Weijer is a development practitioner and thinker who has been active in Afghanistan intermittently from 2002 to 2011. She worked as an advisor for the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, the Ministry of Frontiers and Tribal Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture, in the fields of policy development, institutional strengthening and capacity building. In 2010-11 she became an associate fellow at the Center for International Development (CID) at the Harvard Kennedy School, conducting research on the applicability of the concepts of complexity science to the practice of international development and institutional change, with an emphasis on fragile states. Her recent publications include inter alia ECDPM Discussion Paper on Resilience and CID-paper on Building a Capable State in Afghanistan.
In his article – and the book upon which it is based – Seth Kaplan aims to look at the power dynamics and the role of elites and then seeks ways to make the latter work more for the benefit of their countries and populations.
Fragile states are characterized by a variety of institutional arrangements that exist alongside each other. This institutional multiplicity is a complex phenomenon, but not necessarily ‘good’ or ‘bad’. For donors and development organizations, it creates particular challenges when they are trying to match their approach to the local complexities of fragile states. Without sufficient understanding, their engagement can have unexpected outcomes.
Development organizations have yet to come to terms with the inherent complexity of institutional change. Institutional change takes time, and the kind of institution best suited to a given situation depends on the context.
The second day of the working group zoomed in on the identification of patterns in the dynamics of insurgencies. Wikileaks data on violent interactions between insurgents and counter-insurgency forces (CIGACTs) had been scrutinized for patterns in scale and location of events.