Conference: Barcelona – Spain, 7-8 May

The challenges of fragility to development policy

  • Workshop Report Barcelona May 2009
  • Programme and list of prticipants
  • Programme and papers
  • Brief survey on fragility, conflict, aid effectiveness and aid in fragile countries by Marta Reynal-Querol
  • Highlights from the conference
  • Podcast from the Barcelona Conference – “from Fragility to Strength” [download mp3]

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    How solid is the state? No, this is not a physics question but one of international relations, and it is of vital importance to world development. This podcast explores the question of state fragility, which is the main theme of this year’s European Report on Development (ERD). Leading experts consider the challenges associated with fragility and what policies can be pursued to put fragile states on a sustainable development path.

    • Giorgia Giovannetti, the ERD’s lead author, introduces the concept of fragility in all its diversity.
    • Luca Alinovi, an economist at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), describes what the situation is like on the ground in fragile countries.
    • Stephan Klasen, a professor of development economics at Göttingen Univerist (DE), examines what exactly is fragility, and the progress so-called fragile countries have made towards the Millennium Development Goals.
    • Paul Collier and Tony Venables of Oxford University explain the causes of fragility in resource-rich and ethnically diverse African countries.
    • Paul Collier and Luca Alinovi discuss what the EU and other donors can do to help countries overcome their fragility.
    • Françoise Moreau of the European Commission’s Development DG explains the aims and objectives of the ERD initiative.

The ERD-project is financially supported by the European Commission and five MemberStates: Finland, Luxembourg, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom

The Conference is hosted by the Center for Research on the Economies of the Mediterranean (CREMed) at PompeuFabraUniversity.

The conference analyses and discusses some major root causes of fragility since appropriate development policies can be designed only with a deep understanding of them. Armed conflict represents the ultimate manifestation of fragility. A special session will focus on the underlying causes and the triggering factors of violent conflicts, contributing to a strand of literature where some major puzzles – such as the relationship between economic factors, institutions and conflicts – have not yet been solved, and will be approached through an innovative framework and new methodological tools.

Against this background, the conference will discuss how development policies should be designed in fragile countries with a focus on the role of European engagement.

The conference is planned around a few presentations by prominent scholars, leading to an open debate with key representatives from academic institutions, regional and international organizations working in different disciplines. A round table with policy makers and development agencies will enrich the discussion by adding an operative perspective.


Day 1: 7 May 2009

8:30 – 9:15 registration of participants

9:15-10:15 Opening remarks

Overview of the ERD 2009
Giorgia Giovannetti (European University Institute and University of Florence)

Welcome address by the European Commission
Françoise Moreau (European Commission DG Development and Relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific States)

Welcome address by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics
Andreu Mas Colell (Barcelona Graduate School of Economics and Pompeu Fabra University)

Welcome address by the Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Teresa Garcia Milá (Pompeu Fabra University)

Welcome address by the Institute of Mediterranean Studies (IEMed)
Senén Florensa (Institute of Mediterranean Studies)

10:15-11:00 chair Marta Reynal-Querol (Pompeu Fabra University)

Patrick Guillaumont (CERDI, Université d’Auvergne – Clermont-Ferrand 1) and Sylviane Guillaumont Jeanneney (CERDI)
“State fragility and economic vulnerability: what is measured and why?”

Discussant:  Erwin Bulte (Wageningen University)

11:00-11:15 coffee break

11:15-13:15 chair Giorgia Giovannetti

Kenneth Harttgen (University of Göttingen) and Stephan Klasen (University of Göttingen)
Fragility and MDG Progress: How useful is the Fragility Concept?

Tony Venables (University of Oxford)
Natural Resources and Fragility

Discussants: Janvier Nkurunziza (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) and Jean-Marie Baland (Center for Research on Economic Development, University of Namur)

13:15-14:30 lunch

14:30-16:30 chair Seth Kaplan (Alpha International Consulting)

Jean Philippe Platteau (Center for Research on Economic Development, University of Namur)
“Political Instrumentalization of Islam and Threat of an Obscurantist Deadlock”

Jean-Paul Azam (University Toulouse I)
“Betting on Displacement: Oil, Violence, and the Switch to Civilian Rule in Nigeria”

Discussants: Franklin Allen (Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania) and Hannes Mueller (Institute for Economic Analysis)

16:30-16:45 coffee break

16:45– 18:45 chair Thierry Verdier (Paris School of Economics)

Antonio Ciccone (Pompeu Fabra University)
Transitory economic shocks and civil conflict

Phil Keefer (The World Bank)
The ethnicity distraction: Political credibility, clientelism and partisan preferences in Africa
[ Annex ]

Discussants: Diego Puga (Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies) and David Laitin (Stanford University)

20:00 – Dinner sponsored by CREMeD

Day 2: 8 May 2009

9:00-9:15 chair Giorgia Giovannetti

Françoise Moreau
The EU policy approach to fragility
[presentation ]

9:15-11:00 chair Paul Williams (Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University)

Tim Besley (London School of Economics) and Torsten Persson (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University and London School of Economics)
“Repression or Civil War?”

Tim Besley and Torsten Persson
“The Incidence of Civil War: Theory and Evidence”

Discussants: Pranab Bardhan (University of California, Berkeley) and Ramon Marimon (European University Institute)

10:00-11:15 coffee break

11:15-12:00 chair José Garcia Montalvo (CREMed and Pompeu Fabra University)

Paul Collier (University of Oxford)
The Political Economy of Fragile States and Implications for European Development Policy

Discussant: Mare Sarr (University of Cape Town)
12:00-13:45 Roundtable “Aid policies in fragile countries” coordinated by Giorgia Giovannetti

Paul Collier (University of Oxford), Sara Pantuliano (Overseas Development Institute), Mina Baliamoune-Lutz (University of North Florida), Alex Stevens (UK Department for International Development), Luca Alinovi (Food and Agriculture Organization), Jörn Grävingholt (German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik DIE), Mireia Villar Forner (United Nations Development Programme), Dorothee Starck (European Commission DG Development and Relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific States), Jean Philippe Stijns (OECD Development Centre)

14:00 lunch