Hitting The Target, But Missing The Point?

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At the end of the five-year pilot phase of the New Deal, this report takes stock of the question of how bilateral and multilateral donors, as one of the main groups of signatories of the New Deal, have conceptualized and implemented their commitment to promote PSG1. On the basis of empirical evidence acquired through case studies in the four g7+ pilot countries Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan and Timor-Leste, the report finds that, at best, donors work with an incomplete and inadequate understanding of the typically fragmented and highly contested politics of fragile societies beyond the formal representatives of their governments and administrations.

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Erwin van Veen

Senior Research Fellow, Conflict Research Unit at the Clingendael Institute, the Netherlands
A political scientist by training, Erwin van Veen applies this lens to research about the power dynamics and organization of security and justice in conflict-prone environments. On top of this, extensive travel in the Middle East after secondary school engendered a lasting interest in the region’s conflicts. Well known in development circles for the ability to combine thoughtful analysis with strategic advice that matters, his work straddles academic and policy spheres. In his view, ‘a key bit of research is to look for the alternative narrative, the underdeveloped frame, and to find out what that means for how problems can be addressed in more innovative ways’.

With over 50 published works ranging from journal articles to blogs, and a key role in policy initiatives like the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States or the Knowledge Platform Security and the Rule of Law, he is equally at home in thought and action.

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