China, Russia, and emerging regional powers are increasingly proactive in fragile states, often with very different approaches than traditional Western and multilateral donors. Indeed, in some cases the aim is to undermine the Western approach. This creates a considerable risk for fragile states as they become an arena for geopolitical competition, calling into question many of the approaches to peacebuilding the West has honed over the last three decades. On the other hand, a part of the problem has also been the relatively weak commitment of the West for implementing fragility-specific approaches. What are the prospects for international cooperation in dealing with state fragility?
On March 18, building on an earlier report that addresses these themes, the Project on International Order and Strategy at Brookings hosted an event to discuss the increasingly stiff competition the West faces for influence in development policy in general, and in fragile states specifically.
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