Nation-Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq

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JHU Press, 2006 - Business & Economics - 262 pages
3 Reviews

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


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Review: Nation-Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq

User Review  - Piotr Pietrzak - Goodreads

Very interesting book especially for someone who wants to understand the Afghan and Iraqi quagmires more comprehensively. Author tries to explain why Western attempts to stabilize these countries turn ... Read full review

Review: Nation-Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq

User Review  - Mari - Goodreads

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

Selected pages


From Consensus to Crisis The Postwar Career of NationBuilding in US Foreign Relations
NationBuilding in the Heyday of the Classic Development Ideology Ford Foundation Experience in the 1950s and 1960s
Building Nations The American Experience
NationBuilding Lessons Learned and Unlearned
Sovereignty and Legitimacy in Afghan NationBuilding
Rebuilding Afghanistan Impediments Lessons and Prospects
The Lessons of NationBuilding in Afghanistan
What Went Wrong and Right in Iraq
Striking Out in Baghdad How Postconflict Reconstruction Went Awry
Learning the Lessons of Iraq
Guidelines for Future NationBuilders

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Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 1 - I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation-building. I think our troops ought to be used to fight and win war. I think our troops ought to be used to help overthrow a dictator that's in our — and it's in our — when it's in our best interests.
Page 1 - We meet here during a crucial period in the history of our nation, and of the civilized world. Part of that history was written by others; the rest will be written by us.

References to this book

About the author (2006)

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.