Thought leadership: 2009/10 Fault Lines





All nations have fault lines. The most salient division may be between regions, ethnic groups, religions, language groupings or races. In some states the fault lines become battle lines while other states develop institutions and practices to manage those divisions in a manner that promotes unity, security, or at least prevents the outbreak of mass violence. Much is written about why states fail when fighting erupts around their fault lines. Less is understood about how states surmount fault lines, especially what key attributes of government are necessary to allow them to resolve the inevitable divisions amongst peoples.

In conjunction with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and other partners, The Brenthurst Foundation drew together two dozen specialists at three international events in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to examine why some countries fracture around these divisions, why others don't. In addition it looks at what the international community can do to assist. More than a dozen country case-studies, including several from Africa as well as Indonesia, Canada, Northern Ireland, Iran, Israel/Palestine, and Iraq.

In December 2011, a compendium of these papers co-Edited by Jeffrey Herbst, Terence McNamee and Greg Mills be published by Profile Books (London) in Europe, and worldwide in early 2012.

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