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Hope for a Fragile State

Yasmine Shamsie and Andrew S. Thompson, editors

Studies in International Governance Series


Paper 150 pp.

ISBN13: 978-0-88920-510-9

Release Date: May 2006

Online discount: 25%

$34.95  $26.21



ISBN13: 978-1-55458-784-1

Release Date: April 2011

Online discount: 50%

$34.95  $17.48



“This book...avoids the political debates about Jean-Bertrand Aristide that dominate so many current writings about Haiti. Its focus is the society itself, the sources of difference, the origins of violence, and the possibility of change....The superb work done by the editors has established a high standard for future efforts.” (Terry Copp and John English from the Preface)

Haiti is a country in the midst of a political, economic, ecological, and social crisis. Violence has sabotaged attempts to establish the rule of law, and state infrastructure is notably absent in much of the country, leading to an overall climate of insecurity. Haiti: Hope for a Fragile State sheds light on the varied and complex roots of the current crisis, dispels misperceptions, and suggests that the situation in Haiti, despite evidence to the contrary, is not completely desperate. It brings together diverse perspectives on development, the military, history, NGOs, and politics and discusses the peace-building efforts of the past, suggesting ways to move forward to make Haiti a strong state.

Co-published with the Centre for International Governance Innovation

Yasmine Shamsie is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University and a Fellow at the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) at York University. She specializes in the political economy of democracy promotion and has written on the Organization of American States (OAS) peace-building efforts in Haiti.

Andrew S. Thompson holds a PhD in history from the University of Waterloo and has written on human rights and international governance. He has worked at l’Hôpital Bon Samaritain in Limbé, Haiti, and in 2004, he was a member of an Amnesty International human rights lobbying and fact-finding mission to Haiti.


“[Haiti: Hope for a Fragile State] is a useful summary of the state of play as it was in the autumn of 2005....Each chapter is by a different authority, each a specialist in fields from UN peacekeeping to private sector investment in developing countries to the role of international economic institutions, a different set of actors from those who frequently dominate foreign policy discussions. All have spent considerable time on the ground in Haiti, and this combined experience adds to the credibility of the theses presented....The value of [the] book is that it is a refresher course on how Haiti came to its present state and why it deserves international support....Haiti: Hope for a Fragile State is well worth reading as a summary of where Haiti stood before its recent election, and as an indication of the massive challenge the new government took on.”

— Barbara McDougall, Literary Review of Canada


Table of Contents

Related interest


Political science

By the same editor

Critical Mass: The Emergence of Global Civil Society, James W. St.G. Walker and Andrew S. Thompson, editors

Related links

Centre for International Governance Innovation

Related books

Backpacks Full of Hope: The UN Mission in Haiti, Eduardo Aldunate