Parallel session
Aid, democracy and development

Development aid, democratization and development have become increasingly interconnected. Yet, one of the most contentious questions remains whether and how development agencies and donors can best support democratization efforts, facilitate the consolidation of democracy and help bolster long-term economic and human development. This session will look at the politics of growth and development in fragile states and discuss which role foreign aid can play in fostering good governance and development. It will also debate what role demographic factors such as ethnicity or so-called youth bulges (i.e. exceptionally large youth cohorts) play in shaping fragility of developing countries and how best to help countries recover economically. 


Eric Werker | Anke Hoeffler | Henrik Urdal | Rachel M. Gisselquist | Discussant and Q&A


Janne Taalas | Chair

Janne Taalas is Director at the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) — Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation. Taalas joined CMI from the Finnish Foreign Ministry, where he has pursued a career as a diplomat for almost 25 years. He has extensive experience in international cooperation on peace and security issues, including the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations. His work at the helm of CMI seems like a natural progression.

Eric Werker | Presenter

Eric Werker is the William Saywell Professor at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. He researches how less developed countries can build more thriving and inclusive private sectors, particularly when they are rich in natural resources, and how international actors can play a positive role in creating successful societies. Werker has written on foreign aid, private sector development, natural resource governance, non-governmental organizations, inter-governmental organizations, refugees, and Ebola.

Anke Hoeffler | Presenter

Anke Hoeffler is a Professor of Development Research at the Department of Politics & Public Administration at the University of Konstanz. In June 2018, she was offered an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, Germany’s most valuable international research award. Before coming to Konstanz, she was a research officer at the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) at the University of Oxford. She holds a Diploma in Volkswirschaftslehre from the University of Würzburg and an MSc in economics from Birkbeck College, University of London.

Henrik Urdal | Presenter

Henrik Urdal is a Norwegian political scientist and the current director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo. Before his appointment as director in 2017 he was a research professor and research director at the institute.

Rachel Gisselquist | Presenter

Rachel M. Gisselquist, a political scientist, is a Senior Research Fellow with the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) and a member of the institute’s senior management team. She works on the politics of developing countries, with particular attention to inequality, ethnic politics, statebuilding and governance and the role of aid therein, democracy and democratization, and sub-Saharan African politics.

Tuija Brax | Discussant

Tuija Brax is the director of the new Rule of Law Center under the auspices of the University of Helsinki. She is a former Minister of Justice. She is a Member of Finnish Parliament, representing the Green League. She was first elected to the Parliament in 1995.