6th BMW Foundation Global Table: Re-thinking Governance in Fragile Societies

The 6th BMW Foundation Global Table, held in partnership with The Hague Institute for Global Justice, examined how to prevent violent conflict in fragile states and foster effective governance in post-conflict environments. It aimed to facilitate an open dialogue to develop frameworks for collaboration between local, regional, and international actors.

The imperative of preventing violent conflict is self-evident. Conflict costs lives, retards economic development, destroys social cohesion, and is likely to spill over into neighboring polities. Despite being recognized as an international policy priority, effective conflict prevention remains rare. Moreover, where conflicts occur, international interventions often fail to bring about long-term stability and effective governance. Failures of prevention and rebuilding are partly caused by not accounting sufficiently for the interests of local and regional stakeholders, as well as inaccurate assessments of political will. Acknowledging the pivotal role of these actors is essential for enhancing the legitimacy and effectiveness of any intervention that aims to establish lasting peace. Additionally, an inflexible focus on “good governance” often encourages a one-size-fits-all, top-down approach to post-conflict rebuilding that undermines the likelihood of success.

The Global Table will reflect on the actors, norms and tools required for successful conflict prevention and post-conflict rebuilding. Participants will discuss normative developments in international law and public policy, considering concepts like ‘the responsibility to protect,’ ‘good enough governance,’ and ‘collaborative governance,’ and re-think the conceptual underpinnings of current approaches to conflict prevention and governance in fragile societies. They will also examine which actors, institutions and tools are necessary to translate theory into practice and how interventions should be configured. In particular, participants will aim to understand how to evaluate the success of efforts to prevent conflict and rebuild societies.

Watch an interview with Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, at the 6th Global Table:


About the BMW Foundation Global Table

The BMW Foundation Global Table engages decision-makers from Europe and the emerging powers in a strategic dialogue across sectors and generations. We want to raise awareness for the importance of shared leadership in addressing global challenges. By enabling a frank and diverse dialogue outside existing international frameworks, we invite the participants to be open to mutual interests and areas of convergence instead of focusing on preconceived positions.

The second cycle of the BMW Foundation Global Table focuses on identifying and establishing new mechanisms for implementing an efficient governance framework. It features five Global Tables alternating between Europe and the new global powers and will conclude with the 2nd Berlin Global Forum in November 2017.


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