The state has traditionally been assigned a leading role in the development process. While views have changed over the decades regarding the relative merits of state intervention versus the private sector, the state remains the mainstay of international diplomatic relations and law. It is the building block of the international system. Yet of the United Nations’ 193 member-states, perhaps a quarter are widely regarded as ‘fragile’, ‘failed’, ‘failing’ or described with similar terms. Many such states are in Africa.

Stephen Ellis has recently published a study of Africa’s place in the world entitled Season of Rains: Africa in the World (Hurst & Co., London, and a Dutch translation Het Regenseizoen published by Prometheus). He began research for this book in 2008 at the start of the financial crisis that has shaken the entire system of international relations. In this lecture he will consider some of the implications for the role of the state in development as seen from Africa.

Time and place: 18.00 – 19.30h| 14 November 2011| Auditorium| VU| Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam. The lecture and discussion will be held in English.
Reception and welcome (coffee/tea) from 17.30 onwards. After 19.30 informal drinks.
More information on: or 070 – 2050215
Registration: Admission is free, send an email to


Society for International Development

SID Netherlands is a platform where people can meet and share their commitment to successful international cooperation and …

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