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Case Study and Webinar: The Importance of State Legitimacy in Achieving Stability .

Case Study | September 8, 2022

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This case study explores evidence of and recommendations for legitimizing government to strengthen and stabilize fragile states.

Conflict narratives in fragile states are often framed by identity groups or other non-state actors along ideological or ethno-sectarian lines to achieve political ends. But in many instances, the main grievances of populations in affected communities are centered around basic dignity and livelihoods. Non-state actors, including violent extremists, often try to capitalize on these grievances by implementing their own distribution systems to meet communal needs as a way of strengthening their credibility and allegiances. When conflict abates, international efforts to meet the basic needs of a given community can help stem further violence, but these recovery efforts often neglect the importance of building state legitimacy in making the transition from stabilization to stability. Using examples from Iraq, this case study focuses on the role of essential service delivery and livelihood opportunities in creating stability in a conflict setting.

On October 4, 2022 we co-hosted a webinar with the Pulte Institute for Global Development to explore the case study’s findings and discuss how lessons from Iraq can be applied in a variety of contexts. Watch the recording below.