Multilateral donors and the security-development nexus: discourse and practice in conflict-affected states

Ivica Petrikova, Melita Lazell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Downloads (Pure)


This article assesses how the ‘security-development nexus’ has impacted multilateral aid to conflict-affected states; an area until now understudied. Using a mixed methods approach, we examine both the policy discourse and aid commitments of the major multilateral donors: the European Commission, the World Bank, and the UNDP. We investigate the extent to which these donors fund the sectors identified within the policy discourse as crucial to ensuring peace and stability – democratisation and peace, conflict, and security activities - and examine the impact of ‘Western’ security concerns on multilateral aid in conflict-affected states. Our new data indicate that in contrast to policy discourse, post-conflict states receive no more multilateral funding for democracy building than states which have not suffered from conflict and furthermore, that in the context of the security-development nexus, multilateral aid to conflict-affected states is influenced by the key transnational security concerns of Western states. These results point to a potentially dangerous gap between policy and actual aid commitments, ignore the long-term nature of development and weaken the impartiality of multilateral aid.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-516
Number of pages24
JournalConflict, Security and Development
Issue number6
Early online date7 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Cite this