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Statebuilding

ISBN: 978-0-7456-6158-2
200 pages
May 2013, Polity
Statebuilding (0745661580) cover image
After civil wars end, what can sustain peace in the long-term? In particular, how can outsiders facilitate durable conflict-managing institutions through statebuilding - a process that historically has been the outcome of bloody struggles to establish the state's authority over warlords, traditional authorities, and lawless territories?

In this book, Timothy Sisk explores international efforts to help the world’s most fragile post-civil war countries today build viable states that can provide for security and deliver the basic services essential for development. Tracing the historical roots of statebuilding to the present day, he demonstrates how the United Nations, leading powers, and well-meaning donors have engaged in statebuilding as a strategic approach to peacebuilding after war. Their efforts are informed by three key objectives: to enhance security by preventing war recurrence and fostering community and human security; to promote development through state provision of essential services such as water, sanitation, and education; to enhance human rights and democracy, reflecting the liberal international order that reaffirms the principles of democracy and human rights, . 

Improving governance, alongside the state's ability to integrate social differences and manage conflicts over resources, identity, and national priorities, is essential for long-term peace. Whether the global statebuilding enterprise can succeed in creating a world of peaceful, well-governed, development-focused states is unclear. But the book concludes with a road map toward a better global regime to enable peacebuilding and development-oriented statebuilding into the 21st century.
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About the Author vi

Preface viii

Abbreviations xii

Introduction 1

1. Civil War and Post-War Fragility 17

2. The State into the Twenty-fi rst Century 46

3. International Engagement for Statebuilding after Civil War 64

4. Authority: Imperatives of Security 79

5. Capacity: Creating the Conditions for

Development 107

6. Legitimacy: Toward a Democratic State 127

7. Strengthening the International Statebuilding

Regime 156

Notes 170

References 188

Index 210

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Timothy Sisk is Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.
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  • An accessible guide to the issues involved in attempts to establish stable states in the aftermath of conflict
  • Gives an engaging overview of the history of statebuilding efforts in some of the world’s most fragile regions
  • Analyses and evaluates the key objectives of statebuilding work undertaken by the United Nations, leading powers, and donors
  • Will be essential reading for students in international relations and a range of related disciplines
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"A thorough examination of whystatebuilding is essential to peacebuilding, and a richly documented case for why the internationalcommunity should assist statebuilding in fragile states."
International Affairs

"Readers looking for an interesting and accessible account of contemporary practice and the debates which surround it will be very satisfied."
LSE Review of Books

"A comprehensive account of the evolution of the international response to civil war and the challenge of post-conflict peacebuilding. An important challenge to much contemporary policy, Statebuilding will quickly take a place among the 'must read' accounts of contemporary statebuilding."
Bruce Jones, Brookings and the NYU Center on International Cooperation; senior advisor to the WDR 2011 on Conflict, Security and Development

"Sisk's book is the best guide to 'statebuilding' I know. It provides conceptual clarity and a framework for international action. It is written with clear-headed commitment and a seriousness of purpose that leaves the reader in no doubt that we are dealing with one of the key challenges of the modern era."
Khalid Koser, Geneva Centre for Security Policy

"A lucid and highly accessible defense of how the building of states after civil war by international intervention is essential to peace. It is a very fine culmination of a research agenda on liberal internationalism begun a decade ago. Teachers will find Statebuilding extremely comprehensive on the current orthodoxy."
Susan Woodward, City University of New York
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