From Sierra Leone to Solomon Islands, developed powers have undertaken a range of state-building interventions in the early years of this century. Two influences appear to shape the emerging state of the art on state building: conceptions about the nature of the state in the developed world; and the postcolonial sensitivities and practicalities that attend the project of intervention. After examining the imperatives driving interventions in fragile states, I explore the remarkable consistency among approaches to state building applied by different states and coalitions in different contexts. I then examine the imperatives driving this convergence of approaches and conclude with some observations tracing the difficulties of contemporary interventions to the current dominant approach to state building.
|Published - 2008