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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 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; Michele 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


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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 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; Michele 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

30 review for Nation-Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steven Peterson

    This is an excellent edited volume. The well known conservative theorist, Francis Fukuyama, has pulled together a well integrated set of essays in nation-building, featuring detailed analyses of Iraq and Afghanistan. One positive aspect of this volume is the outstanding quality of contributors, including such well-known experts as Larry Diamond, James Dobbins, and Marvin Weinbaum, as well as, of course, Fukuyama himself. The editor has written two earlier works related to nation-building. This b This is an excellent edited volume. The well known conservative theorist, Francis Fukuyama, has pulled together a well integrated set of essays in nation-building, featuring detailed analyses of Iraq and Afghanistan. One positive aspect of this volume is the outstanding quality of contributors, including such well-known experts as Larry Diamond, James Dobbins, and Marvin Weinbaum, as well as, of course, Fukuyama himself. The editor has written two earlier works related to nation-building. This builds upon that previous work. Fukuyama's introductory chapter lays out key concepts as well as the purpose of this volume. As in earlier works, he explains the slipperiness of the concept of "nation-building." He goes on to distinguish two aspects of this phenomenon, "reconstruction" (". . .the restoration of war-torn or damaged societies to their preconflict situation" [Page 5:]) and "development" (". . .the creation of new institutions and the promotion of sustained economic growth. . . ." [page 5:]). He laments the loss of American institutional memory on nation-building, noting that the Bush Administration essentially ignored the lessons from history as to how to carry out "nation-building." At the heart of this volume is a comparative case study of Iraq versus Afghanistan, and Fukuyama takes some time to distinguish these two interventions. The first full section of the book examines the historical experience of and lessons from nation-building. The various authors consider post World War-II nation-building, the Ford Foundation's experience of the 1950s and 1960s, the American track record in the 20th century. Part II focuses on the Afghan experience of the United States. Starr's chapter suggests some potential "happy ending," as a result of the U. S. changing course in 2003 and 2004. He concludes that (page 124): "As of this writing, there is extensive evidence that the new approach is contributing directly and powerfully to nation-building in that long-suffering land." Weinbaum suggests that Afghanistan may actually be more likely to be a success story than Iraq, and indicates why. Goodson contends that the facts "on the ground" in Afghanistan may work out--but that the facts on the ground in Washington, D. C. undercut efforts in Afghanistan Iraq? Part II features essays exploring matters there. Larry Diamond's assessment is consistent with many others'--the US blew the nation-building after the successful military invasion, even though there is still the hope that matters will work out. Forman notes simply that (page 211): ". . .the mistakes made in the occupation of Iraq have made. . .the postconflict reconstruction program more difficult." Fukuyama concludes the volume with suggested guidelines for future nation-building ventures. In the final analysis, this is an important contribution to the relevant literature. One may not agree with all of the contributors or with various themes raised throughout the volume. But it is a thoughtful effort to address what is at stake in successful nation-building.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Monsees

    A series of analyses by experts and academics on the U.S. nation-building experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, what went wrong, and lessons to be implemented in future exercises. The main lesson is don’t forget the lessons we have already learned. Don’t treat each nation building exercise like it is the first we have encountered or the last we will encounter. Codify lessons from each experience. Plan for future contingencies. The frequency of nation building efforts in the 1990s led to improveme A series of analyses by experts and academics on the U.S. nation-building experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, what went wrong, and lessons to be implemented in future exercises. The main lesson is don’t forget the lessons we have already learned. Don’t treat each nation building exercise like it is the first we have encountered or the last we will encounter. Codify lessons from each experience. Plan for future contingencies. The frequency of nation building efforts in the 1990s led to improvements in this country’s conduct of nation building however those doctrinal developments were purposely ignored by the next administration. More detailed analysis below. The authors largely agreed on the primacy of implementing security, establishing legitimate, functioning local government capacity, and working as a coalition. The authors disagreed was on the question of resources and the appropriate use of NGOs in a post conflict environment. All agreed that Iraq was provided too few resources to establish security and the transition to an Iraqi government took too long fostering resentment for the occupying force. Though in Afghanistan, some felt the low level of initial international investment incentivized Afghans to take a leading role in the development of their country. Others felt the dearth of resources caused the coalition to miss the opportunity to establish key institutions and reconstruction initiatives early on. Similarly, how should NGOs work with a host government that may be corrupt? If they work around the government, they damage the long-term capacity of the host government by excluding them from service provision, a measure most citizens feel is the benchmark of government viability. If NGOs do work with the government, they run the risk of their monies being siphoned off to corrupt officials and not reaching the intended recipients. What is necessary is an anti corruption minister of finance like Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan who can channel funds through the government, enhancing its legitimacy, and take a strong anti-corruption posture.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Venky

    Francis Fukuyama drawing on his invaluable expertise brings together a collation of views, theories and postulates that dwell on the merits and drawbacks of an enhanced role played by a State in institutionalising political, social and cultural reforms. Citing the example of nation building activities resorted to by the Bush Administration in both Afghanistan and Iraq following the calamity of 9/11, Fukuyama analyses both the perils of an uncontrolled state intervention as well as the deficienci Francis Fukuyama drawing on his invaluable expertise brings together a collation of views, theories and postulates that dwell on the merits and drawbacks of an enhanced role played by a State in institutionalising political, social and cultural reforms. Citing the example of nation building activities resorted to by the Bush Administration in both Afghanistan and Iraq following the calamity of 9/11, Fukuyama analyses both the perils of an uncontrolled state intervention as well as the deficiencies that represent the outcome of an inadequate state administration. In the latter case, the task of nation building and other allied reformative measures are left at the hands of the markets which ally with fringe and peripheral players such as Non-Government Organisations, voluntary task forces and quasi-governmental institutions in the task of nation building. Francis Fukuyama also educates the reader on the degree of legitimacy that ought to be bestowed on a state as it embarks on its drive towards nation building. Too much of control would lead to adverse outcomes as a state running amok poses clear threats not only to its own citizens but also to its neighbours. At the same time a stifled and impotent state would be forced to seek external assistance (assistance which might be riddled with conditions as is the case with many of the beneficiaries of Western Aid in Sub-Saharan Africa), thereby relinquishing its hold on any prospect of participating in policy making processes. A key feature of this book lies in the various real life examples demonstrating both instances of huge successes and unmitigated disasters in the exercise of nation building. A mistaken belief on the part of policy makers that their interests are in perfect alignment with those of the targeted beneficiaries of the intended policies; nation building following an incursion into a foreign territory, thereby precipitating internal strife and civil wars (a la Iraq); delayed action on the part of responsible states to check a wanton spree of crimes against humanity (e.g. Serbia. Kosovo, South Sudan etc.) are some key factors which can dispatch the process of nation building into a tail-spin. Fukuyama also sets out the scale of state involvement along with the attendant degrees of specificity for the benefit of the reader's comprehension. Although some passages and a portion of a couple of chapters tax the intellectual patience of the reader, this book nonetheless makes for some very useful reading, especially for people involved in some or the other kind of public administration. It is a cautionary offering warning the wary to steer clear of maladroit decision making and intemperate institutionalism.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mari

    A counterpoint to Zakaria's book! Fukuyama always has something interesting to add to the conversation!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mustafa Kurt

  6. 4 out of 5

    Abida

  7. 5 out of 5

    William Jamison

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mukaddes Canpolat

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sneha

  10. 5 out of 5

    Aladdin Elaasar

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

  12. 4 out of 5

    Talaria

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  14. 4 out of 5

    Diana

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lj

  16. 5 out of 5

    David Dalakishvili

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ina Cawl

  18. 5 out of 5

    Can

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mavis

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jasvinder Singh

  21. 4 out of 5

    Puja Ghosh

  22. 5 out of 5

    BlaBlaBla albalbalb

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lee

  24. 4 out of 5

    Levan Ramishvili

  25. 5 out of 5

    Widhyanto Muttaqien

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  27. 4 out of 5

    Soma Naik

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aamir Bangash

  29. 5 out of 5

    Seth Timpke

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

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