During the past 40 years, a number of low-income countries have achieved economic and political turnarounds of five years or more. Although these recoveries are often temporary, a few countries once considered fragile states have seen sustained improvement in institutional performance and economic growth. ISS asks what we can learn from these experiences.
Often the most innovative ideas are generated internally, framed by people who have deep knowledge of local conditions. ISS helps chronicle these ideas and the process of institutional change by enabling reformers to tell their unique stories. The interviews become part of an oral history archive and the participants become part of a knowledge network. Case studies based on these conversations promote learning and become the basis for both practitioner-focused cross-cutting analysis and scholarly writing.
Innovations for Successful Societies is hosted jointly by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs and the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice. The program started on a pilot basis in 2006 and became a research program in 2007. Princeton faculty members direct the program under the guidance of an advisory panel.