On the occasion of the publication of the paperback edition of The Political Economy of Statebuilding: Power after Peace (London: Routledge, 2013), Mats Berdal will visit PRIO to present the major findings of a three-year research project on the political economy of statebuilding. In The Political Economy of Statebuilding: Power after Peace Mats Berdal and Dominik Zaum focus on different aspects of the state-building efforts in conflict-affected countries, including international administrations and transformative occupations such as in East Timor, Iraq and Kosovo; complex peace operations such as in Afghanistan, Burundi, Haiti and Sudan; and governance and statebuilding programmes in the context of economic assistance such as in Georgia and Macedonia.

In each of these case studies, the two authors carefully examine the impact of statebuilding efforts on the political economy of war-affected countries and shade light on the complex relationship, in terms of power and influence, between formal and informal political and economic actors, groups and networks within war-torn and conflict-affected societies.

Despite soaring ambitions, the book finds that the overall impact of state-building activities in terms of ensuring stability, mitigating conflict, and promoting development remains highly uneven. The continuities in the political and economic structures and dynamics that fuelled and sustained conflict in the first place are often as prominent as the changes in these structures that could be attributed to state-building efforts. Discussant: Kristian Berg Harpviken, PRIO Director
Chair: Øystein H. Rolandsen, Senior Researcher at PRIO

Mats Berdal is Professor of Security and Development in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, UK and a Visiting Professor at the Norwegian Defence University. His research interests include violence in post-conflict societies, the changing character of war, the evolution of NATO, and the developments in UN peacekeeping.