The Beginner's Guide to Nation-Building

The Beginner's Guide to Nation-Building

James Dobbins
Seth G. Jones
Keith Crane
Beth Cole DeGrasse
Copyright Date: 2007
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 328
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mg557srf
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  • Book Info
    The Beginner's Guide to Nation-Building
    Book Description:

    Since the end of the Cold War, the United States, NATO, the United Nations, and a range of other states and nongovernmental organizations have become increasingly involved in nation-building operations. Nation-building involves the use of armed force as part of a broader effort to promote political and economic reforms, with the objective of transforming a society emerging from conflict into one at peace with itself and its neighbors. This guidebook is a practical Â"how-toÂ" manual on the conduct of effective nation-building. It is organized around the constituent elements that make up any nation-building mission: military, police, rule of law, humanitarian relief, governance, economic stabilization, democratization, and development. The chapters describe how each of these components should be organized and employed, how much of each is likely to be needed, and the likely cost. The lessons are drawn principally from 16 U.S.- and UN-led nation-building operations since World War II and from a forthcoming study on European-led missions. In short, this guidebook presents a comprehensive history of best practices in nation-building and serves as an indispensable reference for the preplanning of future interventions and for contingency planning on the ground.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4264-4
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. iii-viii)

    The U.S. occupation of Iraq was marked by a series of unanticipated challenges and hastily improvised responses. U.S. officials did not foresee the looting that accompanied the fall of Baghdad, were not prepared for the disintegration of the Iraqi army or the collapse of most other Iraqi institutions, failed to appreciate the impact of years of sanctions and misgovernment on the Iraqi economy, and were surprised by the emergence of organized resistance. U.S. troops stood by while Iraq’s public property was ransacked. U.S. occupation authorities moved to disband the Iraqi military and dismiss thousands of senior Iraqi officials. Washington first...

  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Figures
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Tables
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. Summary
    (pp. xvii-xxxviii)
  8. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxxix-xl)
  9. Abbreviations
    (pp. xli-xlii)
  10. CHAPTER ONE Preparing for Nation-Building
    (pp. 1-18)

    It is rare for nation-building missions to be launched on short notice, in response to unforeseen developments, and thus in circumstances that preclude methodical planning. The 1961 UN intervention in the Congo and the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan were two such cases. More often, the probability of an operation can be foreseen months in advance. The U.S.-led interventions in Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq fall into this category, as do most UN missions. In such circumstances, advance planning can greatly improve the prospects of success at acceptable cost. Preparations are most useful when they extend beyond the military sphere...

  11. CHAPTER TWO The Military
    (pp. 19-46)

    The presence of foreign military forces is a unique feature of nation-building, distinguishing these operations from other forms of political or economic intervention. International military forces can separate contending parties, disarm and demobilize former combatants, substitute for or supplement local police, secure borders, deter external interference, and reform or create new indigenous military forces. Their primary objective should be to establish a secure environment in which people and goods can circulate freely, licit political and economic activity can take place free from intimidation, and external donors can bring financial resources and expertise to bear to promote political reform and economic...

  12. CHAPTER THREE The Police
    (pp. 47-72)

    Societies emerging from war face a variety of threats from extremist and criminal organizations. Indigenous capacity to meet these challenges is almost always inadequate and sometimes nonexistent. The insertion of international military forces may suffice to halt open conflict, separate combatants, and begin disarmament. However, even if these efforts achieve success rapidly, the local population will be vulnerable to criminals and extremists who seek to undermine the emerging order. Crime often rises, particularly in circumstances in which repressive regimes and abusive security establishments have been dismantled. The failure of the intervening powers to establish law and order will reduce the...

  13. CHAPTER FOUR Rule of Law
    (pp. 73-108)

    The rule-of-law sector includes the courts, ministry of justice, correctional system, legal statutes, and other institutions that ensure, in Aristotle’s words, “a government of laws, not men.”¹ It also includes the police, addressed in the preceding chapter.Rule of lawrefers to an ideal that ensures fairness, justice, and equality before the law. Rule of law also implies preventing official arbitrariness.² Almost by definition, rule of law will have broken down in any postconflict society, which is often characterized by nonfunctioning courts, substandard prisons, inadequate salaries for judges and other personnel, insufficient operating budgets, and poor training.

    Protecting private property...

  14. CHAPTER FIVE Humanitarian Relief
    (pp. 109-134)

    The humanitarian component of stability operations involves preventing large-scale loss of life by providing emergency food, shelter, clothing, and medical services to the local population. In most instances, relief agencies have already been on the ground and were providing humanitarian assistance throughout the conflict. The broad objective of humanitarian efforts should be to save lives, alleviate human suffering, and minimize displacement. In most postconflict situations, large numbers of people have been displaced. The challenge for the international community is in providing for existing and newly displaced people, then beginning the process of encouraging people to return home or find new,...

  15. CHAPTER SIX Governance
    (pp. 135-160)

    Societies emerging from conflict may be able to wait for democracy, but they need a government immediately to provide law enforcement, education, and public health care. Electricity, telecommunications, water, and other utilities also require a government to regulate them, and, in some instances, to provide the service. Sometimes the intervening authorities initially serve as the government. However, they will never be in a position to deliver these services without relying on host-country nationals and local institutions to provide attendant government services. The intervening authorities provide funding, guidance, and oversight and select people and organizations to provide services, but teachers, health...

  16. CHAPTER SEVEN Economic Stabilization
    (pp. 161-188)

    To stabilize the economy after conflict and create conditions for economic growth, the intervening authorities need to create an environment in which individuals can safely and profitably engage in economic activity. In most instances, normal commerce will have broken down as the risk of assault, hijacking, kidnapping, or robbery makes daily life, especially travel, dangerous. Labor markets will have been disrupted as people leave some regions and overwhelm others, seeking secure places to live. Property will have been stolen or destroyed. Farms will have been abandoned. Utilities will have ceased to function as providers go unpaid and equipment is broken....

  17. CHAPTER EIGHT Democratization
    (pp. 189-212)

    The prime objective of most nation-building missions is to make violent societies peaceful, not to make poor societies prosperous or authoritarian societies democratic. Nevertheless, the three are interconnected, and most successful missions accomplish all three, albeit to different degrees. Successful transformations of violent societies into peaceful ones are thus almost always accompanied by some degree of economic development and political reform. These missions invariably begin in circumstances in which existing systems of governance have largely or totally collapsed. In some cases, this is the result of civil war. In others, it is the result of the intervention itself. Whatever the...

  18. CHAPTER NINE Development
    (pp. 213-254)

    In most postconflict economies, the first and second years after an intervention are ones in which the economy grows rapidly, a consequence of the end of conflict, improved economic policies, and inflows of aid. Following this initial spurt in economic activity, when refugees and displaced people return and rebuild their homes and businesses, more traditional problems of development arise. Host governments are confronted with the tasks of creating conditions conducive to business and economic growth; improving human capital; providing government services cost-effectively; and creating conditions for the efficient provision of electric power, telecommunications, water, and other utilities. These tasks have...

  19. CHAPTER TEN Conclusion: The Cost of Nation-Building
    (pp. 255-260)

    This volume is intended to help those mounting nation-building operations in designing, assembling, and employing the necessary components. It should also assist journalists, legislators, and other interested observers in evaluating the planning and implementation of any such mission. Each preceding chapter contains simple formulas for estimating the required size and likely cost of the various mission elements. This chapter addresses the overall costs.

    Two types of variables have been used throughout this volume to predict costing requirements. The first are the more or less immutable facts on the ground, such as the size of the population, its degree of urbanization,...

  20. Bibliography
    (pp. 261-276)
  21. Index
    (pp. 277-282)
  22. About the Authors
    (pp. 283-284)