The Use of Statebuilding Research in Fragile Contexts: Evidence from British Policymaking in Afghanistan, Nepal and Sierra Leone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Statebuilding has risen to the forefront of international donor policies toward the security and development of fragile states, with governments now investing millions in statebuilding research every year. However, no serious study has examined the ways in which research influences policy in fragile states. Based on in-depth interviews with officials and researchers, this article begins to shed light on the central dynamics pertaining to research use in such contexts by exploring in some detail the experience of British in-country policymakers in three countries – Afghanistan, Nepal and Sierra Leone. The picture that emerges is a mixed one, with evidence of extensive use of different forms of research combined with worrying practices and lingering deficiencies in some key areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-172
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Intervention and Statebuilding
Issue number2-3
Early online date10 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • statebuilding
  • fragility
  • development
  • research utilisation
  • public policy

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