'State-building for peace': navigating an arena of contradictions

Briefing papers
August 2009

This Briefing Paper argues that, while peace-building and state-building may share basic characteristics, there are important tensions between them. The concept of ‘state-building for peace’ is an arena full of contradictions, which need to be recognised by donors if their assistance is to have a genuine impact. The Briefing Paper concludes that effective donor engagement requires humility, better political understanding, greater sensitivity to context, and sustained, long-term commitment.

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