Emerging powers’ peace-building in fragile states

Photo © Albert Gonzalez Farran/ UNAMID
Peacekeepers under the United Nations Mission in Darfur delivering medication to a hospital in Kutum. New research asks: do Southern countries provide assistance differently to traditional Westdern partners in conflict-affected areas?

Are Southern providers more effective in facilitating peace processes, political settlements and building institutions in fragile states than traditional Western donors are? Is South-South peace-building different in approach, form and outcome than interventions by Western powers in conflict-affected areas?

These are the questions which research undertaken jointly by SAIIA and NYU’s Center on International Co-operation attempted to answer. The two-year, field-based project was funded by the Canadian International Development Research Centre.

The research consisted of two case studies that compared the peace, governance and development co-operation approaches of South Africa in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Turkey in Somalia, and attempted to assess their effectiveness in relation to the approaches of traditional donors.

Evidence from the two field studies show that while operating under different paradigms, principles and drivers, Southern providers not only bring substantive support to fragile states (in some years out-performing traditional OECD-DAC donors), but also achieve different types of results and responses from host countries. While it is yet difficult to discern a clear ‘Southern model for peace-building’, emerging economies play an important role in promoting peaceful and inclusive societies and accountable institutions, in their region and internationally.

These two case studies have been published, along with a comparative paper and shorter articles on the research. The findings of the research were presented at a number of policy dissemination events held in Johannesburg, Addis Ababa, New York, and Kinshasa during the course of 2015 and 2016. Further information on the outcomes of the research project can be found below.