Cover: Institution Building in Weak States

Institution Building in Weak States

The Primacy of Local Politics

Posted on rand.org Jun 26, 2020

by Andrew Radin

Purchase Information

Order this book from Amazon.com

The effort to improve state institutions in post-conflict societies is a complicated business. Even when foreign intervention is carried out with the best of intentions and the greatest resources, it often fails. What can account for this failure? In Institution Building in Weak States, Andrew Radin argues that the international community's approach to building state institutions needs its own reform. This innovative book proposes a new strategy, rooted in a rigorous analysis of recent missions.

In contrast to the common strategy of foreign interveners — imposing models drawn from Western countries — Radin shows how pursuing incremental change that accommodates local political interests is more likely to produce effective, accountable, and law-abiding institutions. Drawing on extensive field research and original interviews, Radin examines efforts to reform the central government, military, and police in post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Iraq, and Timor-Leste. Based on his own experience in defense reform in Ukraine after 2014, Radin also draws parallels with efforts to improve state institutions outside of post-conflict societies.

Institution Building in Weak States introduces a domestic opposition theory that better explains why institution building fails and what is required to make it work. With actionable recommendations for smarter policy, the book offers an important corrective for scholars and practitioners of post-conflict missions, international development, peacebuilding, and security cooperation.

This report is part of the RAND commercial book series. Periodically, RAND researchers publish with commercial presses. These books are not available from RAND but can be requested directly from the publisher, except in cases where the rights have reverted to RAND and we have republished a new edition.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.