“Lacking genuine political competition, public administration in newly pacified nations is often a mess.”

The Economist has an interesting article about civil conflicts. It doesn’t mention NI, but one paragraph in particular caught my eye:

One reason for backsliding is that peace often fails to bring the prosperity that might give it lasting value to all sides. Power-sharing creates weak governments; nobody trusts anyone else enough to grant them real power. Poor administration hobbles business. Ethnic mafias become entrenched. Integration is postponed indefinitely. Lacking genuine political competition, with no possibility of decisive electoral victories, public administration in newly pacified nations is often a mess.

The great and good have been flocking to our shores to learn How It Should Be Done. That is justified up to a point, but the really hard work comes after the immediate conflict is over and the threat of violence recedes. How well do we compare against other post-conflict societies in draining the swamp?


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