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Governments intervening in post-conflict states find themselves beset with numerous challenges and profound dilemmas: It is often unclear how best to proceed because measures that may improve conditions in one respect may undermine them in another. This volume reviews and integrates the scholarly social-science literature relevant to stabilization and reconstruction (S&R), with the goal of informing strategic planning at the whole-of-government level. The authors assert that S&R success depends on success in each of four component domains — political, social, security, and economic; the authors discuss each domain separately but emphasize their interactions and the idea that the failure of any component can doom S&R as a whole. The authors also focus on a number of dilemmas that intervenors in post-conflict states face — such as between short- and long-term goals and whether to work through or around the state's central government — and suggest how these dilemmas can be confronted depending on context.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


    Paul K. Davis

  • Chapter Two

    Establishing Security

    Christopher S. Chivvis and Paul K. Davis

  • Chapter Three

    Establishing Favorable Political Conditions

    Julie E. Taylor

  • Chapter Four

    Political Dilemmas of Stabilization and Reconstruction

    Stephen Watts

  • Chapter Five

    Establishing Social Conditions of Trust and Cooperation

    Elizabeth Wilke, Paul K. Davis, and Christopher S. Chivvis

  • Chapter Six

    Establishing Desirable Economic Conditions

    Claude Berrebi and Sarah Olmstead

  • Chapter Seven

    Dilemmas of Foreign Aid in Post-Conflict Areas

    Claude Berrebi and Véronique Thelen

  • Chapter Eight

    Final Observations

    Paul K. Davis

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted within the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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