Political economy of state-building: power after peace
Zaum, D. and Berdal, M., eds. (2012) Political economy of state-building: power after peace. Routledge studies in intervention and statebuilding. Routledge, Abingdon, pp416. ISBN 9780415604789
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The purpose of this volume is to examine and evaluate the impact of international state-building interventions on the political economy of post-conflict countries over the last 20 years. It analyses how international interventions have shaped political and economic dynamics and structures – both formal and informal – and what kind of state, and what kind of state-society relations have been created as a result, through three different lenses: first, through the approaches taken by different international actors like the UN, the International Financial Institutions, or the European Union, to state-building; second, through detailed analysis of key state-building policies; and third, through a wide range of country case studies. Amongst the recurring themes that are highlighted by the book’s focus on the political economy of state-building, and that help to explain why international state-building interventions have tended to fall short of the visions of interveners and local populations alike are evidence of important continuities between war-time and “post-conflict” economies and authority structures, which are often consolidated as a consequence of international involvement; tensions arising from what are often the competing interests and values held by different interveners and local actors; and, finally, the continuing salience of economic and political violence in state-building processes and war-to-peace transitions. The book aims to offer a more nuanced understanding of the complex impact of state-building practices on post-conflict societies, and of the political economy of post-conflict state-building.