Dilemmas of Intervention

Dilemmas of Intervention: Social Science for Stabilization and Reconstruction

Edited by Paul K. Davis
Claude Berrebi
Christopher S. Chivvis
Paul K. Davis
Sarah Olmstead
Julie E. Taylor
Véronique Thelen
Stephen Watts
Elizabeth Wilke
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 382
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  • Book Info
    Dilemmas of Intervention
    Book Description:

    Governments intervening in post-conflict states find themselves beset with numerous challenges and profound dilemmas: It is often unclear how best to proceed because measures that may improve conditions in one respect may undermine them in another. This volume reviews and integrates the scholarly social-science literature relevant to stabilization and reconstruction, with the goal of informing strategic planning at the whole-of-government level.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-5257-5
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
  4. Figures
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xv-xlviii)
    Paul K. Davis
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xlix-l)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-20)
    Paul K. Davis

    This monograph deals with social science relating to the higher-level challenges affecting whole-of-government activities in post-conflict situations involving stability and reconstruction (S&R) operations.¹ Thus, we address issues from the early phases, in which establishing security is primary, to later phases, in which reconstruction and what some would call nation-building take place. We do this without prejudice as to how ambitious intervention operations should be.

    The research base on which we drew included numerous subject areas, such as (1) civil wars, conflict resolution, and conflict prevention; (2) developmental economics; (3) political development and political economy; and (4) stability operations, peacekeeping, and...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Establishing Security
    (pp. 21-64)
    Christopher S. Chivvis and Paul K. Davis

    This chapter addresses the security component of stabilization and reconstruction (S&R). If security is achieved with the nation at peace with itself and its neighbors (even with imperfect governance), the mission will likely be regarded to have been at least partially successful (in the short run); if the country redescends into conflict, the intervention will almost always be judged to have been a failure. Thus, establishing self-sustaining security can be seen both as a requirement and as the most urgent objective in S&R. As discussed in Chapter One, the political, social, and economic problems are intertwined, and a measure of...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Establishing Favorable Political Conditions
    (pp. 65-124)
    Julie E. Taylor

    An important objective of stabilization and reconstruction (S&R) is to support the formation of an effective government that is responsive to the concerns of its citizens. Generically, a government is a system of social control for establishing and enforcing laws. A country’s government usually has national, regional, and local layers. Huge variations exist across countries with regard to what functions are performed by which layer(s) of government. Governments also vary in terms of their structure, character, and basis of legitimacy. And, of course, they vary in their competence. Modern country-level governments (national governments) are typically expected to provide security from...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Political Dilemmas of Stabilization and Reconstruction
    (pp. 125-186)
    Stephen Watts

    This chapter builds on the previous one, by Julie Taylor, about establishing favorable political conditions in stabilization and reconstruction (S&R). This chapter is a much-elaborated discussion of a few selected politicaldilemmasthat routinely arise. Also, it takes the next step of suggesting ways to resolve, or at least mitigate, those dilemmas.

    The U.S.-led interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq have profoundly influenced policy debates over when interventions should occur and what constitute appropriate ends and means. The international orthodoxy for repairing weak and failed states that prevailed in the wake of the Cold War called for transforming civil wars into...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Establishing Social Conditions of Trust and Cooperation
    (pp. 187-238)
    Elizabeth Wilke, Paul K. Davis and Christopher S. Chivvis

    This chapter addresses certain social aspects of intervention, focusing on how sufficient cooperation among previously warring parties can be achieved so that stabilization and reconstruction (S&R) efforts can be successful. Though much depends on the context of the conflict—the composition of fighting parties, political aims, and economic and social backdrops, as well as international intervention—to facilitate long-term S&R, post-conflict interventions need to establish basic institutional structures that promote cooperation among groups in society, especially those prone to competition and conflict. Trust is a key enabler of cooperation, so the chapter’s question becomes, How can useful degrees of trust...

  13. CHAPTER SIX Establishing Desirable Economic Conditions
    (pp. 239-290)
    Claude Berrebi and Sarah Olmstead

    This chapter discusses the economics of stabilization and reconstruction (S&R). First we suggest a generic system view of what is needed. We then discuss the differences between post-conflict and other development settings. These differences have major implications for economic objectives, goals, strategy, and metrics; what to an economist would normally be “optimal” in traditional development settings often becomes counterproductive when dealing with post-conflict settings. We then summarize what appear from the literature to be best practices for economic efforts. It is not accidental that much of the emphasis in this chapter is actually about establishingpoliticalconditions conducive to good...

  14. CHAPTER SEVEN Dilemmas of Foreign Aid in Post-Conflict Areas
    (pp. 291-320)
    Claude Berrebi and Véronique Thelen

    One of the primary whole-of-government instruments for stability and reconstruction (S&R) operations is foreign assistance. However, social-science research reveals serious uncertainties and disagreements about the role and effectiveness of aid; it also raises what can be seen as recurring dilemmas, or at least tensions. This chapter attempts to synthesize the related literature and clarify selected issues, primarily for the purpose of informing government officials concerned with S&R. The chapter is organized as follows:

    1. Background on Foreign Assistance and Its Effectiveness

    2. Using Conditionalities to Improve Effectiveness

    3. Reconciling Short- and Long-Term Objectives

    4. Improving Effectiveness by Using More Objective...

  15. CHAPTER EIGHT Final Observations
    (pp. 321-332)
    Paul K. Davis

    The starting point for any student of stabilization and reconstruction (S&R) should be humility, since history tells us that many civil wars have come to a halt only to be reignited later (not necessarily with the same actors). Avoiding the resumption of hostilities is a considerable challenge; maintaining peace and achieving a good measure of nation-building is all the more so. That said, the challenge is by no means hopeless, and degrees of success have been achieved historically. This short, concluding chapter comments briefly on some of the contributions that we sought to make in the study, some higher-level cross-cutting...

  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 333-333)