Field Analysis of Fragile States and Transitions

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 9:00am
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 9:00am to Friday, June 21, 2013 - 7:00am


The Executive Education course on Field Analysis in Fragile States and Transitions, was held between June 19 and 21 2013 at the School of Public Policy at Central European University.

The course was delivered by Mark Freeman of the Institute for Integrated Transitions, John Norris of the Sustainable Secuirty program at the Center for American Progress, and SPP's Professor of Practice and former director of the Asia program at the International Crisis Group. It provided participants with insights into field-based research on early warning, prevention and resolution of violent conflicts and transitions in fragile states. Focusing on key practical techniques, policy interventions and presentation, the three-day course was aimed at building skills for those whose work involves dealing with countries undergoing rapid, destabilizing change.

In the past decade, policymakers have faced a number of situations in which it was necessary to make rapid assessments of unexpected change and develop policies to support political transitions in the wake of conflicts or revolutions. Over this decade we have learned that many of the ways in which we analyze these situations are inadequate and that responses have been poorly integrated. International actors have failed to anticipate conflict or to find ways to promote development, democracy, human rights, rule of law and security at the same time. Coordination of aid has been weak. Money for militaries has been plentiful; money for justice, policing and capacity building less so. But beyond finances, there has been a failure in the way the international community approaches many transitions.

"The aim of the course is to think through how transitions are managed in a more comprehensive and more integrated way. What we are trying to do is to get people to think about a whole variety of issues, how to bring them together and how to make transitions more effective and less costly in the terms of their impact on people who are trying to survive in post-conflict or post-transition countries."  Robert Templer, SPP

This executive workshop offered a unique opportunity for exceptional candidates from international and non-governmental organizations, government and think tanks to hone their skills in conducting analysis in some of the world’s most demanding settings. Jointly conducted by three senior experts in the fields of early warning, conflict prevention and resolution and transitions, the course offered practical guidance in everything from how to conduct interviews in an insecure setting to shaping and presenting analysis and recommendations in a way that will result in changed policies.

Using innovative learning technologies, case studies, and lively interaction between instructors and students, the course is designed to give individuals the real world tools they need to effectively promote peace, security and the rule of law in complex and volatile environments.

The course focused on three key areas:

  • How to analyze rapid political developments that may lead to conflict and how to develop policy on the run during conflicts and political transitions.
  • Integrating policies that promote security, rule of law, development and democracy.
  • The lessons learned since 2001: Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, the Arab Spring and other transitions and complex emergencies.
Sessions included discussions on transitional justice, the development of policy in fragile states, policy approaches to the conflict cycle, and workshops on infromation gathering and analysis skills and tools.

"The course is designed really for executives, people who work at senior levels in multilateral organizations, government, civil society and others." - Mark Freeman, IFIT

"We looked at how you go about getting effective information, how you make an impact, how you change policy, how these things play out in the real world." - John Norris, Center for American Progress


To see the agenda for the course click here

Read the participants' booklet for this course here.

In this podcast, our instructor Mark Freeman talks about his book, "Necessary Evils: Amnesties and the Search for Justice". The book is about amnesties for grave international crimes that are adopted by states in moments of transition or social unrest.