Robert Rotberg will discuss the importance of human agency and governance failures in the onset and perpetuation of African civil wars and other conflicts. He will further discuss theories of governance (and how to measure it) and of state failure, both of which feed into conflict, especially in Africa.

Chair: Kristian Berg Harpviken, PRIO
Discussant: Øystein H. Rolandsen, PRIO

Robert Rotberg is the Fulbright Research Chair in Political Development at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Canada. He has a long-standing affiliation with the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he was most recently the director of the Program on Intrastate Conflict, Conflict Prevention, and Conflict Resolution (1999–2010). He has also served as Professor of Political Science and History at MIT, Academic Vice President of Tufts University, President of the World Peace Foundation, and President of Lafayette College. He is the editor of the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, which he helped to found in 1970. He is the author and editor of a number of books on Africa, Asia, and US foreign policy, such as Africa Emerges: Consummate Challenges, Abundant Opportunities (Polity, 2013), Transformative Political Leadership: Making a Difference in the Developing World (University of Chicago Press, 2012), China into Africa: Trade, Aid, and Influence (Brookings Institution Press, 2009), Worst of the Worst: Dealing with Repressive and Rogue Nations (Brookings Institution Press, 2007), and When States Fail (Princeton University Press, 2003).