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 about the challenges and opportunities facing the state-centric international model here.

An Agenda for Harnessing Globalization

Globalization offers the tantalizing prospect of limitless wealth creation, and yet billions are currently excluded from participating in its benefits. This paper advocates creating inclusive mechanisms for global prosperity and global stability. It argues that…

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Nepal: The Future in the Present

This paper explains how unstable dual power sharing defined Nepal’s predicament in May 2006. It explains why resulting structural uncertainty affects stakeholders and threatens further development – or even risks collapse. The paper then explains…

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Kosovo: Developing a Strategy for the Future

This paper describes the challenges facing Kosovo at a pivotal moment in its history, and explains why its institutions were short of capacity, legitimacy and trust. On the basis that EU accession was the country’s…

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Country Report: Sudan

This paper considers the prospects of peace for Southern Sudan and how it would enable major economic development. It examines the nature of the challenge, current assets, major stakeholders and urgent issues.  It then outlines…

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Closing the Sovereignty Gap

The gap in many states between de jure sovereignty and de facto sovereignty is the key obstacle to ensuring global security and prosperity. This paper seeks to define a quantitative index for sovereignty and propose…

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