Why States Recover: Changing Walking Societies into Winning Nations, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe

Friday, 10 October 2014 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm


Date & Time: Friday, 10 October 2014, 6-7:30 PM

Venue: Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), SOAS


Speakers: Greg Mills, author & Director of the Brenthurst Foundation; Professor Stephen Chan, Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS; Lieutenant General Sir Nicholas Patrick Carter, Senior British Army officer; Richard Dowden, Director of the Royal African Society; Johnny Clegg, musician and anthropologist. 

State failure takes many forms. Somalia offers one extreme. A collapse of central authority as the outcome of a prolonged civil war, where authority descends into competing factions - headed by warlords - around the spoils of local commerce, power and international aid. At the other end of the scale is Malawi. During President Bingu’s second term in office, the country’s economy collapsed as a result of poor policies and personalised politics. On the surface, save the petrol queues, it was stable; underneath, the polity was fractured, the economy broken.

Between these two extremes of state failure are all manner of examples. Drawing on research in more than thirty countries, incorporating interviews with a dozen leaders, Greg Mills disaggregates state failure and identify instances of recovery in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Join the author and a panel of experts as they discuss key questions tackled in this book; how do countries recover, and what roles ought insiders and outsiders play to aid that process? With a musical performance by Johnny Clegg.


This event has been organised in collaboration with the School of Oriental and African Studies, the Brenthurst Foundation and Hurst Publishers. 


Places are limited for this event, to attend this and all other Royal African Society events you must first register on the website here. After which you will be able to register for free to this and all other events.