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Descrizione dell’editore

The prominent reconstruction failures of cases such as Iraq and Afghanistan as well as others start long before preliminary plans are drawn. The dominant trend within state-building is the lack of pre-conflict planning which eventuates into subsequent uncoordinated post-conflict preparation that yields little constructive results. Lack of pre-conflict planning may involve lack of awareness of the complexity and often interlaced sources of conflict or inadequate security forces on the ground. Because of such tendencies there are more 'failed' cases than successful ones, where the post World War II examples of Japan and Germany are widely viewed as the epitome of successful reconstruction. Yet for various complex reasons the success of these two cases have been near impossible to replicate. The urgent question is why has it been so difficult to replicate the successes of these cases? Scholars have failed to understand where the inconsistencies that plague state-building activities start. For instance Michael Barnett (2006:89) argues that the reconstruction of post-conflict societies has evolved to entail 'liberal peacebuilding,' to such an extent those leading such missions have often repeated the mistakes of attempting to first develop a strong society that could counteract the arbitrary use of state power in the future. Barnett goes so far as to argue that the state-building donor community desires a minimal state' with a strong civil society that would balance state authority. Barnett moves on to present what he calls republican peacebuilding as the answer to the failures mentioned above. Such a process would entail institution building that would promote legitimacy and stability when/as society begins to transfer their consent to such institutions. Barnett's study embodies several problems endemic in state-building literature. Firstly he fails to recognize that reconstruction processes involve a high level of state-building rather than nation-building as he suggests above. Secondly' if reconstruction processes were to entail building a strong nation' through civil society development for instance' would it not naturally lead to a bottom-up form of democracy building which some (Carens 1993) have suggested are the most stable forms of democracy building? Instead Barnett argues for a top-down form of democracy development, failing to recognize the level of resentment that local communities feel at outsiders imposing foreign forms of political institutions. Finally, he involuntarily juxtaposes nation-building with state-building viewing them as essentially non complimentary practices.

1 dicembre
Samar Habib

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