Ohio University Press · Swallow Press ·

Exiting the Fragility Trap
Rethinking Our Approach to the World’s Most Fragile States

By David Carment and Yiagadeesen Samy

“This is an important and original work. Given the evergreen interest in the topic and the countries discussed, it is likely to be widely cited and discussed. It both effectively engages in intellectual brush-clearing within a tangled and overgrown field and links its more streamlined conceptual developments to well-developed case studies that hew closely to the theory.”

Brandon Kendhammer, author of Muslims Talking Politics: Framing Islam, Democracy, and Law in Northern Nigeria and Boko Haram

“One of this book’s many strengths is how Carment and Samy elucidate and convey both analytical and empirical information without relying on jargon, thus making the volume accessible to a wide range of scholars and practitioners. Furthermore, their use of a vast trove of data is expert and original, allowing them to beautifully achieve their primary task: explaining the nature of state fragility, how it is experienced, and how it may be overcome.”

Karl Cordell, University of Plymouth

“In this volume, David Carment and Yiagadeesen Samy, building on their previous extensive research, offer new insights into the dynamics that ensnare countries in fragility traps and suggest strategies for exiting those traps. This excellently researched book and the authors’ accessible writing style make it of keen interest and relevance for the academic research and foreign policy communities alike.”

Derick Brinkerhoff, Distinguished Fellow Emeritus, RTI International, and Associate Faculty, George Washington University, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration

“Carment and Samy offer a theoretically innovative and empirically rich analysis of the fragility trap. Their insights are a welcome contribution to scholarship on fragile states and, critically, to policy making.”

Stefan Wolff, University of Birmingham

State fragility is a much-debated yet underinvestigated concept in the development and international security worlds. Based on years of research as part of the Country Indicators for Foreign Policy project at Carleton University, Exiting the Fragility Trap marks a major step toward remedying the lack of research into the so-called fragility trap. In examining the nature and dynamics of state transitions in fragile contexts, with a special emphasis on states that are trapped in fragility, David Carment and Yiagadeesen Samy ask three questions: Why do some states remain stuck in a fragility trap? What lessons can we learn from those states that have successfully transitioned from fragility to stability and resilience? And how can third-party interventions support fragile state transitions toward resilience?

Carment and Samy consider fragility’s evolution in three state types: countries that are trapped, countries that move in and out of fragility, and countries that have exited fragility. Large-sample empirical analysis and six comparative case studies—Pakistan and Yemen (trapped countries), Mali and Laos (in-and-out countries), and Bangladesh and Mozambique (exited countries)—drive their investigation, which breaks ground toward a new understanding of why some countries fail to see sustained progress over time.

David Carment is a political scientist and professor of international affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, and Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI). He is also the editor of the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal. His research interests include the international dimensions of ethnic conflict including diaspora, early warning, peacekeeping, conflict prevention, and Canadian foreign policy analysis.   More info →

Yiagadeesen Samy is an economist and the director of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University. He has published widely on issues related to international and development economics, and his current research interests include state fragility, aid effectiveness, domestic resource mobilization, and income inequality, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa and small, developing island states.   More info →

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Retail price: $32.95, S.
Release date: March 2021
15 illus. · 246 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights:  World

Retail price: $80.00, S.
Release date: October 2019
15 illus. · 246 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights:  World

Release date: October 2019
15 illus. · 246 pages
Rights:  World

Additional Praise for Exiting the Fragility Trap

“A lot of research has focused on the causes and correlates of state fragility. This book provides new and important insight into transitions toward resilience. Drawing on cross-national data and case studies, there is so much here to enrich debate, including key implications for policy.”

Rachel M. Gisselquist, UNU-WIDER

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