State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century

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Cornell University Press, Apr 8, 2004 - History - 137 pages
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Francis Fukuyama famously predicted "the end of history" with the ascendancy of liberal democracy and global capitalism. The topic of his latest book is, therefore, surprising: the building of new nation-states.

The end of history was never an automatic procedure, Fukuyama argues, and the well-governed polity was always its necessary precondition. "Weak or failed states are the source of many of the world's most serious problems," he believes. He traces what we know—and more often don't know—about how to transfer functioning public institutions to developing countries in ways that will leave something of permanent benefit to the citizens of the countries concerned. These are important lessons, especially as the United States wrestles with its responsibilities in Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond.

Fukuyama begins State-Building with an account of the broad importance of "stateness." He rejects the notion that there can be a science of public administration, and discusses the causes of contemporary state weakness. He ends the book with a discussion of the consequences of weak states for international order, and the grounds on which the international community may legitimately intervene to prop them up.


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+huntington, samuel 1996. clash of civilizations and the remaking of world order, 1991 the third wave: democratization int he late twentieth century
+rodrik, dani 1997. has globalization gone too far
+stiglitz 2002. globalization and its discontents
americans are not law-adibing people when compared to citizens of other developed democracies
+lispet 1990, continental divide: the values and instituions of the US and canada. 1995. american exceptionalism: a double-edged sword
+howard 1996. the death of common sense
it is now conventional wisdom to say that institutions are the critical variable in development, and over the past few years a whle host of studies have provided empirical documentation that this is so
+robinson, acemoglu 2000 the colonial origins of comparative development: an empirical investigation
+eastery 2001. the elusive quest for growth: economists' adventures and misadventures in the tropics
+van de walle 2001. african economies and the politics of permanent crisis 1979-1999
there has, in addition, been a large and evolving literatures on instituions and instituional development
+klitgaard 1995, institutional adjustment and adjusting to instituions
+grindle 2000. Audacious reforms: institutional invention and democracy in latin America. 1997 getting good government: capacity building in the public sector of developing countires
+tendler 1997. Good government in the tropics
+world bank. 1997. The state in a changing world; 2000, reforming public institutions and strengthening governance; 2002. Building institutions for markets. World development report 2002
+cowhey, haggard 2001. Presidents, parliaments and policy
+woolcock, Pritchett 2002. Solutions when the solution is the problem: arraying the disarray in development
This success, then, suggests a research agenda. We need to understand better which types of public sector activities are most susceptible to formal modeling and analysis and conversely which ones are likely to see a high degree of local variance. The matrix laid out in figure 10 is a starting point. There are some high-specificity activities with low transaction volume like central banking that do not permit a high degree of variance in institutional structure and approach. These are the areas of public administration most susceptible to technocratic reform, where (to use the woolcock-pritchett language “ten bright technocrats” can be air-dropped into a developing country and bring about massive changes for the better in public policy. And indeed this has happened over the past couple of decades in a series of countries including chile, Bolivia, argentina, mexio.
By contrast, the hardest areas to reform are the low-specificity activities with high transaction volume like education or law. There is no legal system in the world that can be “fixed’ by ten technocrats, no matter how bright. These are also the areas of public administration that are likely to be the most idiosyncratic and subject to variance according to local conditions. These are areas where design and iinput from people immersed in local conditions will be the most critical. In these cases each transaction may have to be different, in some sense, to take account of ethnic, regional, religious, and other types of diversity within a society. …
The African country of Mali, for example, receives some $37 million annually in granst fro the USAID but will lose some $43 million in cotton revenues as a result of new subsidies in the bill
+Edmund l. Andrew “rich nationas are criticized for enforcing trade barriers” New York Times sept. 30, 2002
+kagan 2003. Of paradise and power: America vs. Europe in the new world order
The states of western Europe concluded at the end of the WWII that is was precisely the unbridled exercise of national sovereignthy that got them into trouble through two world ward in the twentiesth century
+ikenberry and hall 1989 the sate
Thus the continent that invented the very idea of the modern state built around


The Missing Dimensions of Stateness
The Contested Role of the State
Scope versus Strength
Scope Strength and Economic Development
The New Conventional Wisdom
The Supply of Institutions
The Demand for Institutions
Making Things Worse
Losing and Reinventing the Wheel
Policy Implications
Weak States and International Legitimacy
The New Empire
The Erosion of Sovereignty
Democratic Legitimacy at an International Level
Beyond the NationState

Weak States and the Black Hole of Public Administration
Institutional Economics and the Theory of Organizations
The Ambiguity of Goals
Principals Agents and Incentives
Decentralization and Discretion
Smaller but Stronger

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About the author (2004)

Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and a resident in FSI's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. He is the author of The End of History and the Last Man; The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution; America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy; and Falling Behind: Explaining the Development Gap between Latin America and the United States.

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