Weak or failed states - where no government is in control - are the source of many of the world's most serious problems, from poverty, AIDS and drugs to terrorism. What can be done to help? The problem of weak states and the need for state-building has existed for many years, but it has been urgent since September 11 and Afghanistan and Iraq. The ...
Weak or failed states - where no government is in control - are the source of many of the world's most serious problems, from poverty, AIDS and drugs to terrorism. What can be done to help? The problem of weak states and the need for state-building has existed for many years, but it has been urgent since September 11 and Afghanistan and Iraq. The formation of proper public institutions, such as an honest police force, uncorrupted courts, functioning schools and medical services and a strong civil service, is fraught with difficulties. We know how to help with resources, people and technology across borders, but state building requires methods that are not easily transported. The ability to create healthy states from nothing has suddenly risen to the top of the world agenda. State building has become a crucial matter of global security. In this hugely important book, Francis Fukuyama explains the concept of state-building and discusses the problems and causes of state weakness and its national and international effects.
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Publishers Weekly, 2004-04-05 This slim volume, derived from lectures Fukuyama presented at Cornell in 2003, picks up one of the loose threads from his decade-old The End of History and the Last Man. He asserts that the lack of "organizational tradition" in "failed or weak" nations such as Afghanistan and Haiti represents the greatest threat to an orderly world. He argues that the United States, and the West in general, after rightly intervening in such states either militarily or economically (most often through the IMF or World Bank), have failed to transfer institutional and public- and private-sector know-how to needy countries. The goal is to "create self-sustaining state institutions that can survive the withdrawal of outside intervention," though Fukuyama acknowledges that the developed world has failed, setting people up for "large disappointments." The author quickly surveys other recent theories-Sen, Kagan, Huntington-and concludes that the answer lies in providing states with internal organizational structure and, above all, with a culture that enables strong leaders and government institutions to enforce capitalist and free-market values. Since he sees the "international community" represented by the United Nations as a myth because it lacks a military, the mantle of leadership must be worn by the U.S., at great risk to itself. While Fukuyama's ideas will no doubt be much discussed, parts of this book are too technical to appeal to a broad readership. Agent, Esther Newberg at ICM. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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