Global Report 2014: Conflict, Governance, and State Fragility

TitleGlobal Report 2014: Conflict, Governance, and State Fragility
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMarshall, Monty G., and Benjamin R. Cole
Number of Pages60
PublisherCenter for Systemic Peace
CityVienna, VA

How does good governance emerge following periods of political instability, state failure, and armed conflict? Does it rise like a Phoenix from the ashes? does it gallop in on its trusty steed from over yonder hill? Does it wake suddenly in a cold sweat as the innocent do from a seemingly interminable nightmare? Does it drop like manna from the heavens? Is it restored by the wisp of a magic wand? From where does good governance come if not from the peace-building process itself? Hence the conundrum. Political action is very often both triggered and driven by emotive content; whereas, good decisions are usually the product of careful and extensive deliberation, especially in complex societal systems. What may provide a bridge between incitement and reason are the sobering effects of experience viewed through reflections of the past, that is, periods of general war weariness that dissipate the emotive drive of contention to provide an opportunity for war-affected populations and, particularly, political elites to reassess the emotional baggage they are carrying that has distorted past policy priorities and remains to perpetuate poor governance and push societal-systems toward relapses into state failure. Good governance is past-informed and future-oriented; it is both cause and consequence of systemic peace-building.

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