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State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century Hardcover – May 1, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0801442926 ISBN-10: 0801442923

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Product Details

  • Series: Messenger Lectures
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press (May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801442923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801442926
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This slim volume, derived from lectures Fukuyama presented at Cornell in 2003, picks up one of the loose threads from his decade-old The End of History and the Last Man. He asserts that the lack of "organizational tradition" in "failed or weak" nations such as Afghanistan and Haiti represents the greatest threat to an orderly world. He argues that the United States, and the West in general, after rightly intervening in such states either militarily or economically (most often through the IMF or World Bank), have failed to transfer institutional and public- and private-sector know-how to needy countries. The goal is to "create self-sustaining state institutions that can survive the withdrawal of outside intervention," though Fukuyama acknowledges that the developed world has failed, setting people up for "large disappointments." The author quickly surveys other recent theories-Sen, Kagan, Huntington-and concludes that the answer lies in providing states with internal organizational structure and, above all, with a culture that enables strong leaders and government institutions to enforce capitalist and free-market values. Since he sees the "international community" represented by the United Nations as a myth because it lacks a military, the mantle of leadership must be worn by the U.S., at great risk to itself. While Fukuyama's ideas will no doubt be much discussed, parts of this book are too technical to appeal to a broad readership.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Fukuyama is a wonderful synthesizer of grand subjects, an adventurer who doesn't mind summing up the history of development theory in one chapter and the history of organizational theory in the next. He pulls this off with minimal resort to jargon, and he pulls the reader along with him."—Washington Post Book World



"Fukuyama asserts that the lack of 'organizational tradition' in 'failed or weak' nations such as Afghanistan and Haiti represents the greatest threat to an orderly world. He argues that the United States, and the West in general, after rightly intervening in such states either militarily or economically (most often through the IMF or World Bank), have failed to transfer institutional and public- and private-sector know-how to needy countries. . . . Since he sees the 'international community' represented by the United Nations as a myth because it lacks a military, the mantle of leadership must be worn by the U.S., at great risk to itself. . . . Fukuyama's ideas will no doubt be much discussed."—Publishers Weekly



"Fukuyama persuasively argues that the great problems of our day—'from poverty to AIDS to drugs to terrorism'—result not from excesses of the state but from its persistent weakness or utter failure in many countries. . . .' State collapse or weakness had already created major humanitarian and human rights disasters during the 1990s in Somalia, Haiti, Cambodia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and East Timor.' Americans once could believe that such disasters would affect us only to the degree that we chose to help out by sending cash or peacekeepers. But 9/11, of course, showed that even a rich and powerful country remains vulnerable to catastrophes brewed in distant, troubled lands."—Baltimore Sun



"This is a very useful, intelligent, and short book by Francis Fukuyama, a leading political thinker. It examines a central issue in the age of terrorism: the perils (and sometimes necessities) of 'state-building' in weakened failed states. One hopes it will become a must-read for State Department policymakers."—National Review



"It's not often that the words 'visionary' and 'practical' can be applied to the same work. Here they're perfect descriptions. For an era where state building has come to the top of the global agenda, this book provides expert guidance about why it's important and how it might be catalyzed."—Robert Klitgaard, Dean and Ford Distinguished Professor of International Development and Security, The Pardee RAND Graduate School



"State-Building explores with brutal frankness the greatest challenge of our age: how to cope with failed or failing states. Francis Fukuyama's cross-cultural analysis takes the reader on an enlightened journey into the dilemmas of institution-building in weak polities. Fukuyama masterfully highlights the need for America to engage in the arts of state-building to avoid making things worse."—Chester Crocker, James R. Schlesinger Professor of Strategic Studies, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University



"This is a brilliant, sober, insightful look at a difficult issue which happens to be the central issue of our time. For the Bush administration and for its critics, and for leaders and policy-makers across the globe, Francis Fukuyama's analysis should be required reading."—Robert Kagan, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace



"This book is truly superb. It is exciting to read and has a message of great importance: The current knowledge about the state and nation-building is lacking on several crucial points, some of which can be amended. In particular, it is crucial to draw a sharp line between the scope and the strength of a state. I predict that this book will turn out to be even more important than Francis Fukuyama's other writings."—Richard Swedberg, Cornell University



"Francis Fukuyama is a leading analyst of contemporary affairs who has made insightful and distinctive contributions to our understanding of the social and political complexities of today's world."—Samuel P. Huntington, Chairman, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, and Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor, Harvard University


More About the Author

Francis Fukuyama is Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), resident in FSI's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.

Dr. Fukuyama has written widely on issues relating to questions concerning democratization and international political economy. His book, The End of History and the Last Man, was published by Free Press in 1992 and has appeared in over twenty foreign editions. His most recent books are America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy, and Falling Behind: Explaining the Development Gap between Latin America and the United States. His latest book, The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution will be published in April 2011.

Francis Fukuyama received his B.A. from Cornell University in classics, and his Ph.D. from Harvard in Political Science. He was a member of the Political Science Department of the RAND Corporation from 1979-1980, then again from 1983-89, and from 1995-96. In 1981-82 and in 1989 he was a member of the Policy Planning Staff of the US Department of State, the first time as a regular member specializing in Middle East affairs, and then as Deputy Director for European political-military affairs. In 1981-82 he was also a member of the US delegation to the Egyptian-Israeli talks on Palestinian autonomy. From 1996-2000 he was Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Professor of Public Policy at the School of Public Policy at George Mason University, and from 2001-2010 he was Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He served as a member of the President's Council on Bioethics from 2001-2004.

Dr. Fukuyama is chairman of the editorial board of The American Interest, which he helped to found in 2005. He holds honorary doctorates from Connecticut College, Doane College, Doshisha University (Japan), and Kansai University (Japan). He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Rand Corporation, the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy, and member of the advisory boards for the Journal of Democracy, the Inter-American Dialogue, and The New America Foundation. He is a member of the American Political Science Association, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Pacific Council for International Affairs. He is married to Laura Holmgren and has three children.

March 2011

Customer Reviews

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Fukuyama makes an important distinction between state-building and nation-building.
Izaak VanGaalen
It is an excellent, even great book, written by a brilliant scholar in language which is easily grasped and appreciated.
John Morse
Anyone interested in democractic nation-building ought to consider reading this volume.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tucker Hughes on September 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Francis Fukuyama's newest book, State Building, while well written and insightful as one would expect from a scholar of his caliber, feels rather like a patchwork quilt at times. It is unclear at times whether the book is written for an academic audience or for a more general audience, and while in the end I would recommend it for either, the general reader would be well advised to read carefully and ask lots of questions regarding some of the fine points of industrial organization theory and their application to Fukuyama's final goal of explaining the art of state-building in the 21st century.

While the index indicates that the book has four primary sections, in reality there are just three sections, the four is comprised of simply of a summary and conclusion. In the first section Fukuyama covers the basics of political economy. Most of his time in covering the basics of political economy is spent clarifying the difference between the scope of government power and the strength of government power, and while this is a well-known distinction to be drawn to most academics, fewer of the general readers may be familiar with it. The remainder of this section is devoted to explaining the importance of institutions, both native and imported, to all aspects of applied political economy. Fukayama covers a great deal of ground in this section, but he does an admirable job of covering the ground effectively.

The second section of the book is devoted to a much more academic analysis of the problems of institutions and institutional design. In this section in particular general readers would likely struggle.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Izaak VanGaalen on October 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Neocon apostate Francis Fukuyama has always been more of a social scientist than an ideologue. In his recent well-publicized falling-out with the movement on the wisdom of the invasion of Iraq, he has dealt neoconservatism a heavy blow. In this book, he cautions those who believe that democracy or good governance can be transplanted to weak or failing states.

Since 9/11 there has been much discussion about weak or failing states and the threat they pose to international security. It is true that the instablity that is created can no longer be ignored by the international community. Fukuyama addresses many of the problems that we face in attempting to strengthen weak states or building them from the ground up.

Fukuyama makes an important distinction between state-building and nation-building. Outsiders cannot build nations in the sense of creating all the social, cultural, and historical bonds that hold a nation together. State-building, however, is more limited in scope: it seeks only to strengthen government institutions such as the army, the police force, the judiciary, and the central bank, the bare minimum to make a state self-sustaining.

Fukuyama distinguishes between the strength and scope of government power. It is important that the state be strong in order to provide security and stability so that institutional capacity can be built. It is also important that government be limited in scope in order for private markets to flourish. Outsiders should not replace local institutions - this has always been the sin of aid organizations. This is why, for example, in Africa one finds aid organizations still in place 20 or 30 years after they arrive, they have destroyed all the local institutional capacity.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By J. Dretler on August 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Less government is to be preferred as a rule, however when no societal or cultural constructs or traditions exist to provide a framework for organized positive behavior, governmental organizations are to be preferred to chaos. In many areas of the world the infrastructure is not able to cope with either the problems facing the population or the volume of help offered by the relief agencies. The situation is further complicated by the imposition of aid structures by the relief agencies that compete with the existing frameworks for available resources. According to Fukuyama , keeping civil society from degenerating into simple rent-seeking interest groups is dependent more on the nature of that civil society than the design of its institutions. The Westphalian model of the nation-state implying state sovereignty has been challenged many times in the pursuit of humanitarian objectives. It is unreasonable to accept the breach of sovereignty for humanitarian reasons, but not to prevent security threats, implying that defense of others is more legitimate than self-defense. Fixing this problem leads to the physical intervention in other states and the reform of their governments in order to eliminate them as a threat and prevent new threats from emerging. This is nation-building. Nation-building , to be effective , must create state services that can be effective after foreign support is withdrawn. Successful examples have been Germany and Japan after WWII due to strong bureaucratic populations that survived the disruption of war and occupation. Other examples are India, Singapore and Hong Kong, for the British, Taiwan and Korea for the Japanese.Read more ›
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