Addressing state fragility

Program Code: 

Prof Satish Chand ()

Description of Work: 

Aim: Investigate the nexus between defence and economic development.



(i) How does economic development affect security in hostile environments?

(ii) How does state fragility affect the cost of doing business?

(iii) What are the mechanisms via which economic development affects peace?


Description of work:

Development is difficult in dangerous places. Achieving security in places lacking development is equally problematic. This research project investigates the nexus between the degree of security to person and property and the level of economic development in difficult places.

There are strong theoretical reasons to believe that the level of security to person and property determine the level of effort and investments in any given location. This in turn determines the level of income, employment, and welfare in the general population.

Doctoral students together with their supervisors have been researching the costs of doing business in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Sri Lanka.  This research secured seed funding from the Asia-Pacific Civil Military Centre of Excellence and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.



The PhD scholars will first review the rapidly evolving literature on the relationship between security to property and person, and economic development. A mix of qualitative and quantitative data will then be collected to establish the causal links between the level of security and income generation in post-conflict situations and the contributions of the above to reducing state fragility.

The scholar will investigate these linkages at the level of individual households and firms in their home countries. The research methodology to be employed will include the conduct of purposed designed surveys, focus group discussions, and use of secondary sources for economy-wide information. Much of the methodology for this research is being tested and its refinement will be part of ongoing research.



The prospective student(s) will have successfully completed courses in econometrics and economics at the undergraduate-honours level.  UNSW scholarships are available to prospective students on a competitive basis.  

The student will spend one semester doing post-graduate level coursework in research methods within the School of Business. During this time, the student will also review the literature and refine his/her research question.

The student will spend a semester collecting data in the field after having secured approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University. Analysis of the collected data and thesis writing will extend over the remaining two years.


Supervisory support:

Professor Satish Chand ( will provide primary supervision.