- Publisher: Cornell University Press
- Format: Hardback | 160 pages
- Dimensions: 142mm x 218mm x 20mm | 91g
- Publication date: 8 April 2004
- Publication City/Country: Ithaca
- ISBN 10: 0801442923
- ISBN 13: 9780801442926
- Edition statement: New.
- Illustrations note: 11
- Sales rank: 484,157
Francis Fukuyama famously predicted "the end of history" with the ascendancy of liberal democracy and global capitalism. The topic of his latest book is, therefore, surprising: the building of new nation-states.The end of history was never an automatic procedure, Fukuyama argues, and the well-governed polity was always its necessary precondition. "Weak or failed states are the source of many of the world's most serious problems," he believes. He traces what we know and more often don't know about how to transfer functioning public institutions to developing countries in ways that will leave something of permanent benefit to the citizens of the countries concerned. These are important lessons, especially as the United States wrestles with its responsibilities in Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond.Fukuyama begins State-Building with an account of the broad importance of "stateness." He rejects the notion that there can be a science of public administration, and discusses the causes of contemporary state weakness. He ends the book with a discussion of the consequences of weak states for international order, and the grounds on which the international community may legitimately intervene to prop them up."
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"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"