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The State and International Development Management: Shifting Tides, Changing Boundaries, and Future Directions


Derick W. Brinkerhoff is Senior Fellow in International Public Management with RTI International (Research Triangle Institute) and an associate faculty member at George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. His most recent book is an edited volume, Governance in Post-Conflict Societies: Rebuilding Fragile States (Routledge, 2007). His current research focuses on democratic governance, decentralization, and citizen participation, with an emphasis on postconflict reconstruction in fragile states. A longtime member of ASPA, Dr. Brinkerhoff was SICA chair in 1994 and received the Fred Riggs Award in 2000.


Today’s global concerns with poverty, instability, and terrorism link international development and security in unprecedented ways and assemble new actors in the foreign policy arena. The lessons of past experience need to better inform current policy and practice. The evolution of thinking on the role of the state, the citizen, and international development management provides clues regarding what works and what research questions remain to be answered. Institutional barriers to cooperation and shared learning need to be overcome, along with tendencies to revert to earlier, simplistic management approaches to solving international development problems.