The Statebuilder's Dilemma: On the Limits of Foreign Intervention, David A. Lake
Nation building, to borrow a phrase from a bygone era, humbles politicians, soldiers, and scholars alike. In the American experience, so the argument goes, a can-do spirit, naiveté, and a disdain for local knowledge leads headlong into the morass. The effort to rescue failed states from chaos by reconstituting a government that can exercise sovereignty over its territory consumes blood, treasure, and the best-laid plans at unsustainable rates. It always seems to end up in the same way, a variation on Rudyard Kipling's epitaph.
In this incisive and empirically rich treatise, however, David A. Lake offers strategically valuable insights into why state building, the effort to reconstitute failed states, is an extraordinarily difficult undertaking. Lake notes that a strategic dilemma inherent in state building often dooms the enterprise to failure. To gain legitimacy, emerging leaders must represent local interests to some extent to create the political economy that can lead disparate groups to “buy into” the emerging government. Outsiders only engage in state building because they have a different set of interests at stake, specifically, their own. As Lake notes, it is only a happy coincidence when these two sets of interests coincide, which produces a hopeless and self-destructive dynamic. The more an outside party cares about local develop
To continue reading, see options above.
Assessing Futures Intelligence: Looking Back on Global Trends 2025, James J. Wirtz and ROGER Z. GEORGE
From Quills to Tweets: How America Communicates about War and Revolution, Andrea J. Dew, Marc A. Genest and S.C.M. Paine Reviewed by James J. Wirtz
The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy: Why Strategic Superiority Matters, Matthew Kroenig Reviewed by James J. Wirtz
The Politics of Weapons Inspections: Assessing WMD Monitoring and Verification Regimes, Nathan E. Busch and Joseph F. Pilat Reviewed by James J. Wirtzmore by this author
Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.
Understanding Fiscal Policies, Debt, and Entitlements
March 16, 2023
7:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m. ET
Ukraine, Russia, and the West
Creating a Disaster: NATO's Open Door Policy
Robert J. Art
Engagement, Containment, and the International Politics of Eurasia
DAVID W. RIVERA
Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilsonview additional issues
Articles | Book reviews
CURRENT PERSPECTIVES ON AMERICAN POLITICS
The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.
With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.