After conflicts end, allied nations must undertake military, political, humanitarian, and economic activities to enable states to prosper, but these activities do not always succeed. RAND has examined U.S., United Nations, and European Union nation-building efforts since World War II to determine key principles for their success and draw implications for current and future nation-building investment.

  • An Iraqi flag is seen amid destroyed buildings in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, July 23, 2017


    How to Achieve Stability in Iraq After ISIS

    Jul 24, 2017

    After major combat operations against ISIS in Mosul, recovery and stability will require redoubled efforts by Iraqis and the international community. How well humanitarian, security, and other needs are addressed will affect the immediate stabilization of Iraq, including whether civilians can return home.

  • A section of the Israeli barrier cuts beneath the West Bank refugee camp of Shuafat, October 31, 2014


    A Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Provides the Best Economic Outcomes

    Jun 8, 2015

    The Israeli economy stands to gain more than $120 billion over the next decade in a two-state solution, a possible resolution of the long-standing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Palestinians would gain $50 billion, with average per-capita income rising by about 36 percent.

Explore Nation Building

  • News Release

    Negotiated Peace in Afghanistan Is a Complex, but Feasible Goal

    A sustained focus on Afghanistan at all levels of the U.S. government is needed for the United States to make the most of its limited influence on the complex Afghan peace process.

    Aug 16, 2011

  • Report

    Managing Arab-Kurd Tensions in Northern Iraq After the Withdrawal of U.S. Troops

    Continuing tensions between Arab and Kurdish communities in Iraq could lead to inadvertent armed conflict unless Iraqi leaders resolve outstanding disputes regarding federalism, the legal and political status of disputed territories, and the management of northern Iraq's oil and gas resources.

    Jul 25, 2011

  • Commentary

    In Obama Speech, Will There Be Aid for Arab Spring Nations?

    Assisting Arab democratic transitions will not eliminate religious extremism. But successful transitions would directly challenge the jihadist brands that promote attacks on America, writes Julie Taylor.

    May 19, 2011

  • Commentary

    Afghanistan's Reasons for Optimism

    Afghans in general are much more optimistic about their future than we Americans are about ours, write James Dobbins and Craig Charney.

    Apr 1, 2011

  • Commentary

    Thinking Twice about Libyan Engagement

    We have learned over the past couple of decades that it is deceptively easy for the world's only superpower to topple objectionable regimes—but a good deal harder to replace them with something better, writes James Dobbins.

    Mar 15, 2011

  • Commentary

    Egypt Faces Rough, Unchartered Road

    The most favorable outcome achievable in Egypt might be what we see in Iraq, but without the violence, writes Harold Brown.

    Feb 22, 2011

  • Commentary

    The US Midterm Elections and US-Turkish Relations

    Some Turkish commentators have written off Obama as a lame duck and advised the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan government to begin reconsidering relations in the post-election period. However, foreign policy played virtually no role in the election, writes F. Stephen Larrabee.

    Nov 23, 2010

  • Congressional Briefing Podcast


    Rebuilding Haiti

    In this October 2010 Congressional Briefing, RAND experts discuss how the billions of dollars in aid pledged to help Haiti rebuild after the January earthquake can be used to create a resilient state that is capable of responding effectively to natural disasters and providing public services like education and health care.

    Oct 18, 2010

  • Report

    Building a More Resilient Haitian State: French translation of summary

    Ce rapport passe en revue les défis auxquels est confrontée la République d'Haïti, ainsi que les projets de réforme envisagés, afin d'identifier les priorités les plus nécessaires, réalisables et durables dans le domaine de la construction étatique.

    Aug 24, 2010

  • Commentary

    A To-Do List for Shoring Up Haiti

    It is not enough to raise stronger buildings. What Haiti truly needs is a more resilient and effective government, write James Dobbins and Laurel Miller.

    Aug 23, 2010

  • Multimedia

    Keith Crane and Laurel Miller Discuss Building a More Resilient Haitian State

    RAND Senior Economist Keith Crane and RAND Senior Political Scientist Laurel Miller discuss developing a Haitian state-building strategy. They identify the main challenges to more capable governance and suggest ways the influx of aid money can be used for long-term improvements, as well as offer other insights from their latest report, Building a More Resilient Haitian State.

    Aug 13, 2010

  • News Release

    Rebuilding Haiti Requires New State-Building Strategy

    Haiti's future prosperity and peace depend on its ability to build a more resilient state, one capable of providing public services like education and health care as well as responding effectively to natural disasters.

    Aug 13, 2010

  • Research Brief

    Building a More Resilient Haitian State: Key Recommendations and Priorities

    Haiti's future prosperity and peace require building a more effective, resilient state. RAND researchers identified Haiti's main challenges and recommended a set of state-building priorities that are necessary, feasible, and sustainable.

    Aug 12, 2010

  • Aftermath of earthquake in Haiti


    Rebuilding Haiti Requires New State-Building Strategy

    Haiti's future prosperity and peace depend on its ability to build a more resilient state, one capable of providing public services like education and health care as well as responding effectively to natural disasters.

    Aug 6, 2010

  • Commentary

    A Bottom-Up Peace in Afghanistan

    The Afghan government has embarked on a high-stakes gamble: Try to negotiate with the leaders of the various insurgent networks to end the nine-year-old Afghan war. The notion of the Kabul government cutting a deal with the Taliban is fiercely controversial, write Wali Shaaker and John Parachini.

    Jul 15, 2010

  • Report

    Local Communities in Afghanistan Can Play Crucial Role in Improving Security

    The Afghan government and NATO can improve security in Afghanistan by leveraging traditional policing institutions in rural villages and mobilizing the population against insurgents. However, action needs to happen quickly to take advantage of a growing amount of local resistance against the Taliban across Afghanistan.

    Jul 9, 2010

  • Report

    Living Conditions in Anbar Province in June 2009

    Effective counterinsurgency is dependent on understanding the local population. A survey of those living in Iraq's Anbar Province (once one of the country's most violent areas), reveals both the many improvements that have occurred, as well as the extent to which these Iraqis have suffered from the effects of war.

    Jun 18, 2010

  • Report

    Reconstruction Under Fire: Case Studies and Further Analysis of Civil Requirements

    Building on a framework for integrating civil and military counterinsurgency (COIN), this volume presents an approach to the civil component, illustrated with three case studies from Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Jun 8, 2010

  • Commentary

    A Three-Pronged Approach to Confront Afghanistan's Corruption

    President Karzai's Washington visit last month was basically a "be-nice-to-Karzai summit." After a period of harsh and direct U.S. criticism this past fall, the air is cleared, but issues remain—corruption in particular, write Cheryl Benard and Elvira Loredo.

    Jun 4, 2010

  • Report

    Counterinsurgency in Pakistan

    The rising number of terrorist plots in the United States with links to Pakistan—most recently the failed car-bombing in New York City—is partly a result of an unsuccessful strategy by Pakistan and the U.S. to weaken the range of militant groups operating in Pakistan.

    Jun 2, 2010