This paper is an introduction to available literature on local democratic governance in fragile settings with an emphasis on contexts marked by protracted violent conflict. In this paper the term ‘fragile settings’ is used as it covers fragile states as well as regions within countries that experience state fragility. First the challenges to local governance in fragile settings are introduced drawing on three debates; fragile states and state-reconstruction, decentralisation, and participatory governance. Hereafter three thematic issues are highlighted; legitimacy problems of local governments A specific chapter is devoted to the role of civil society organisations in (re)building local democratic governance.
This working paper is prepared for the workshop ‘Local Governance in Fragile settings’, hosted by PSO and co-organised by Hivos, ICCO and IDS in November 2009. The paper is part of an ongoing PhD research on civic engagement in post-conflict situations, carried out at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and supported by The HIVOS Knowledge Programme and ICCO.