Small Wars Journal

Reconceptualizing State Building In Africa (IV)

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 8:32am
Reconceptualizing State Building In Africa (IV):

Lessons for State Building

by Mark Massey Jr.

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This series has argued for a reconceptualization of state building. It started by offering a new way of understanding state collapse that recognizes processes of transformation and emerging orders that are often mistaken for anarchy. Building on this, it criticized the standard state building model for being over-centralized and encouraged meaningful decentralization. It sought to make a new contribution to this discipline by highlighting the potentials that non-state systems hold for building more stable, democratic states in Africa, looking at Somaliland as a case study.

This final article addresses the lessons and implications for state building. It argues not only why, but how to implement these lessons by positing methods and mechanisms for incorporating these systems into the government and fusing local, bottom-up efforts with international, top-down efforts.

Download The Full Article: Reconceptualizing State Building In Africa (IV)

Mark Massey, Jr. works for The Louis Berger Group, Inc., an engineering and economic development firm focusing on stabilization and reconstruction programs in conflict countries. He holds an MA in International Conflict Studies from the University of London's King's College and a BA in Political Science and History from McGill University.

Editor's Note: This essay is the final of four in the series. See also Part I, Part II, and Part III.

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