Nation-Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq / Edition 1

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Bestselling author Francis Fukuyama brings together esteemed academics, political analysts, and practitioners to reflect on the U.S. experience with nation-building, from its historical underpinnings to its modern-day consequences. The United States has sought on repeated occasions to reconstruct states damaged by conflict, from Reconstruction in the South after the Civil War to Japan and Germany after World War II, to the ongoing rebuilding of Iraq. Despite this rich experience, there has been remarkably little systematic effort to learn lessons on how outside powers can assist in the building of strong and self-sufficient states in post-conflict situations.

The contributors dissect mistakes, false starts, and lessons learned from the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq within the broader context of reconstruction efforts in other parts of the world, including Latin America, Japan, and the Balkans. Examining the contrasting models in Afghanistan and Iraq, they highlight the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq as a cautionary example of inadequate planning.

The need for post-conflict reconstruction will not cease with the end of the Afghanistan and Iraq missions. This timely volume offers the critical reflection and evaluation necessary to avoid repeating costly mistakes in the future.

Contributors: Larry Diamond, Hoover Institution and Stanford University; James Dobbins, RAND; David Ekbladh, American University; Michèle A. Flournoy, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Francis Fukuyama, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Larry P. Goodson, U.S. Army War College; Johanna Mendelson Forman, UN Foundation; Minxin Pei, Samia Amin, and Seth Garz, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; S. Frederick Starr, Central Asia–Caucacus Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; F. X. Sutton, Ford Foundation Emeritus; Marvin G. Weinbaum, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

McGill International Review
This is an important collection, indeed, offering a clear analysis of the lessons of the past, mistakes made in the present, and humane yet pragmatic recommendations for the future.

— Fatima Raja

Canadian Army Journal
A significant contribution to the very young literature about America's experience in nation-building.

— Benjamin Zyla


A valuable resource filled with critical reflection and evaluation and offering valuable suggestions to reduce future mistakes... a sober testimony and very highly recommended.

McGill International Review - Fatima Raja

This is an important collection, indeed, offering a clear analysis of the lessons of the past, mistakes made in the present, and humane yet pragmatic recommendations for the future.

Canadian Army Journal - Benjamin Zyla

A significant contribution to the very young literature about America's experience in nation-building.

Foreign Affairs
Nation building has been a prominent feature of U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War II, but in recent years it has become linked directly to national security. Building on recent important RAND studies on U.S. and UN efforts, this collection of essays by leading experts identifies the challenges involved and takes stock of the historical experience available to outsiders seeking to build nation-states. Fukuyama notes that the United States has been much more successful in assisting the reconstruction of war-torn or damaged societies — such as in postwar Japan and Germany — than in building states anew. A series of fascinating chapters recounts the postwar U.S. experience with promoting development and state creation, revealing its swings between optimism and failure. Later chapters look at the contemporary problems that have beset nation-building efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. A theme that emerges is the striking absence of institutional memory and international capacity in these undertakings. Institutional lessons that were learned in Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia were not effectively passed on to the Bush administration — as has been painfully revealed by the ongoing U.S. occupation and reconstruction of Iraq.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801883354
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/2006
  • Series: Forum on Constructive Capitalism
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Francis Fukuyama is the Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of The End of History and the Last Man (1992) and State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century (2004). Dr. Fukuyama is director of SAIS's International Development Program, member of the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and chairman of the editorial board of The American Interest.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction : nation-building and the failure of institutional memory 1
Ch. 1 From consensus to crisis : the postwar career of nation-building in U.S. foreign relations 19
Ch. 2 Nation-building in the heyday of the classic development ideology : Ford Foundation experience in the 1950s and 1960s 42
Ch. 3 Building nations : the American experience 64
Ch. 4 Nation-building : lessons learned and unlearned 86
Ch. 5 Sovereignty and legitimacy in Afghan nation-building 107
Ch. 6 Rebuilding Afghanistan : impediments, lessons, and prospects 125
Ch. 7 The lessons of nation-building in Afghanistan 145
Ch. 8 What went wrong and right in Iraq 173
Ch. 9 Striking out in Baghdad : how postconflict reconstruction went awry 196
Ch. 10 Learning the lessons of Iraq 218
Conclusion : guidelines for future nation-builders 231
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