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Peter Bruce talks to former UN special representative in Afghanistan, Nicholas ‘Fink’ Haysom in this edition of Podcasts From the Edge. Is it worth the effort trying to build democracy in countries that have never experienced it?

Haysom reminds us that for the Taliban, the power to govern comes from above, not below, but he remains convinced the effort is worthwhile.

Now UN special representative in South Sudan, Haysom learns that failed states aren’t always the poorest. The poorer you are, the less there is to go wrong. The more complex your economy and your structures the more vulnerable you might be to state failure. He doesn’t say so but a nod, perhaps, to SA?


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