State Effectiveness


For a state to be effective, it must carry out a core set of governance capabilities that meet citizens’ expectations and earn public trust while setting the conditions for economic and market development. Effective and accountable states must also participate in a global community of nations, which is governed by shared international norms and standards. ISE works to refine concepts and frameworks for governance, economic and civic engagement, and international relationships.

State of the State


There is an urgent and universal need to develop an agenda and framework for reimagining the state’s ability to understand and meet evolving citizen expectations and help ensure a global order that works in the interests of all sectors of society. ISE’s State of the State initiative aims to reinvigorate a collective agenda on state effectiveness by listening to leaders and citizens alike to assess emerging global trends impacting the role of the state, build on the lessons of the last decade of reform and statecraft, and explore the ‘how-to’ of making the state more effective and legitimate. The overall goal of this multi-year dialogue is to design a forward-looking Agenda for the State for the next 10-15 years that can align the efforts of different stakeholders, bridge communities of practices, and help guide future policy and academic directions. Read more on ISE’s work on closing the gap between citizen expectations and what states deliver here.

Stability, State-Building and Development Assistance: An Outside Perspective

This paper proposes making state-building the central goal of development engagement and aid distribution. It examines the recent record of development agencies to map the processes for aid implementation in practice. Firstly, it considers the…

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State-building in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Conditions

A state-building strategy can act as the basis for agreement between international and domestic actors on priorities, sequencing and actions to maximize progress. Such a strategy would require revision of international practices such as resource…

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Global Compact or Divided World

This paper considers the path of inclusion as the means for consolidating consensus over democracy and capitalism. It identifies key issues from a European perspective, including the unfinished agenda of Russia, managing globalization, Europe’s role…

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