RSIS Distinguished Public Lecture by Dr Greg Mills, Visiting Senior Fellow, RSIS; and Director of the Brenthurst Foundation
Why States Recover
State failure takes many forms, from the collapse of central authority a la Somalia to the subversion of democracy in Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Assessing why and how states fail is only half of the story, however. More important is pinpointing why they recover. Based on field-work in over 40 countries, Dr Mills has conducted first-hand interviews with leadership and conducted field-work in more than 40 countries to disaggregate various state failures and identify instances of recovery – from Latin America, Asia, Europe and Africa – while answering a key question: What role is there for insiders and outsiders?
About the Speaker:
Educated at Diocesan College and the universities of Cape Town and Lancaster, Greg Mills PhD is director of the Johannesburg-based Brenthurst Foundation.
He served as National Director of the SA Institute of International Affairs from 1994-2005. A special advisor to a number of African and other governments, he is widely published on international affairs, development and security, a regular newspaper columnist in South Africa and further afield, and the author of the best-selling books ‘Why Africa is Poor – and what Africans can do about it’ (Penguin: 2010) and, with Jeffrey Herbst (President: Colgate University), ‘Africa’s Third Liberation’ (Penguin: 2012). His writings have appeared in numerous international journals, including Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Current History, International Security, RUSI Journal, Survival, and Defence Analysis; and in global media, including New York Times, TIME, International Herald Tribune, Australian, Straits Times, Sydney Morning Herald, Christian Science Monitor and Financial Times.
In 2008 he was deployed as Strategy Advisor to the President of Rwanda. From 2007-12 he directed the Secretariat to the Presidential International Advisory Board in Mozambique, and since 2012 the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Economy of Malawi. In 2006 he was on assignment in Kabul as head of the International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF) Prism strategic analysis group, and was seconded to ISAF in Kandahar also with Prism in 2010, and to HQ ISAF again in Kabul in 2012.
In July 2013, he was appointed as a member of the African Development Bank’s High Level Panel for Fragile States. A Distinguished Visitor of the Singapore Foreign Ministry in 2013, in 2014 he is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
Based on his peace-building experiences, in 2011 he jointly edited, with General Sir David Richards, ‘Victory Among People: Lessons from Countering Insurgencies and Stabilising Fragile States’ (2011: Royal United Services Institute), and in 2013 published ‘Somalia– Fixing Africa’s Most Failed State’ (Tafelberg) with the Atlantic Council’s Peter Pham and Australian counter-insurgency specialist David Kilcullen. The grandson of the pre-war Grand Prix racer Billy Mills, and himself a driver on the African Le Mans 24-hour team, he has published several titles on motorsport history, most recently ‘Agriculture, Furniture and Marmalade: Southern African Motorsport Heroes’ (Panmacmilllan: 2013).
His latest book Why States Recover (Picador/Panmacmillan) – www.whystatesrecover.com – was launched, as below (with guest speakers Nicky Oppenheimer, the author, President Olusegun Obasanjo and Johnny Clegg), in Johannesburg in July 2014.