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Fragile States and Climate Change: Things Fall Apart

**This post is co-authored with CGD senior fellow David Wheeler
Today's Washington Post column by David Ignatius finally inches popular understanding in the U.S. a bit further in the right direction on why climate change could be so costly to human society. It isn't just the direct costs of seawalls and more destructive hurricanes that climate change will bring. It's the risk that institutional arrangements to deal with those costs will not be resilient and will collapse under the resulting pressure--so that, as Chinua Achebe suggested about post-colonial West Africa, things do literally "fall apart".

Transformational Diplomacy or Tweaking?

Steve Krasner, Director of Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State, spoke on Transformational Diplomacy on Friday before a standing-room-only crowd at a CGD event (transcript) He argued that the creation of a new Deputy for Development in the State Department reporting directly to the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, announced the day before, would strengthen not weaken USAID and thus the effectiveness of U.S. foreign aid programs.

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