Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts? Assessing “Whole of Government” Approaches to Fragile States

Featured Speakers: Stewart Patrick, Center for Global Development; Kaysie Brown, Center for Global Development; Dr. Nora Bensahel, Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation; Victoria Holt, Henry L. Stimson Center

The recognition in recent years by Western governments that peace and international development are beneficial and interconnected has led to a trend of “whole of government” solutions to problems in fragile states. These solutions involve strategic cooperation among government agencies to address security, government, and development problems in the most effective way possible. Looking at the approaches of seven developed nations, Patrick and Brown’s new book analyzes and evaluates attempts at policy coherence thus far.

“The quest for coherence remains, to say the least, a work in progress,” said Patrick of the book’s general findings. Coordinated strategies are still the exception, not the rule, and even when they are implemented, hurdles still remain in coordinating purpose, action, and funding across military and civilian areas of government. The U.S., said Patrick, is particularly skewed toward military interests in its development priorities. Brown was quick to caution, however, that while many hurdles remain and it is important to take careful note of the book’s criticism, the fact that developed countries are even developing coordinated strategies is monumental. There remains, therefore, a great deal of hope and optimism for the future of comprehensive strategies of government.

Sponsor: The Henry L. Stimson Center

Location: Stimson Center, 1111 19th Street NW

Date: July 11, 2007

Time: 2-3:30

Approximate Number of Attendees: 50

Intern Attending: Mike Heslin

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