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Author

Rens Twijnstra

Rens Twijnstra

Rens Twijnstra is a 5th year PhD candidate at Wageningen University in The Netherlands with a background in Anthropology, Conflict Studies and Criminology. He is currently finalizing his dissertation on the relationship between entrepreneurship, trade and the emerging institutional arrangements of the state in the new Republic of South Sudan where he conducted his PhD fieldwork between October 2010 and December 2012. Rens’ research takes place within the International Cooperation Academy (I.S. Academie in Dutch) on Human Security in Fragile States; a collaborative research effort between the Special Chair for Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction at Wageningen University, the Humanitarian Aid and Stabilisation Department (DSH) at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a number of other INGOs and research institutes including the Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB) in Antwerp and the Institute for Social Studies in The Hague. For more information, please visit http://isacademyhsfs.org

Pull, don’t push! Servicing the motor of a fragile economy

Western governments are increasingly reframing their rhetoric of engagement in fragile and conflict-affected areas around the development of a vibrant private sector. But how does this ‘new’ approach work in practice? Who are the ‘new’ beneficiaries and what kind of support is being provided? Looking at the Netherlands’ engagement in South Sudan and at the experiences of international and local entrepreneurs, this article illustrates some of the bottlenecks and challenges of this take on development, and identifies local entrepreneurship as a blind spot in the approach.

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