Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://prr.hec.gov.pk/jspui/handle/123456789/2509
Title: STATE FAILURE AND STATE BUILDING IN POST CONFLICT SOCIETIES: A CASE STUDY OF AFGHANISTAN
Authors: AMAN, SHAHIDA
Keywords: History & geography
History of Europe (Russia)
History of Asia ( China & Central Asia)
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: UNIVERSITY OF PESHAWAR
Abstract: This thesis attempts to contribute to the debates on the less than satisfactory outcomes of state building interventions in post conflict societies. The broad enquiry underlining this thesis has been: Why interventionist state building is unable to restore effective statehood in the so-called “failed states?” The thesis argues that the failures of current state building practice in intervened states need to be located in state failure discourses. The state failure discourses draw a Western Weberian yardstick to define and explain the phenomenon of failed states. These discourses paint failed states to be either lacking broadly, centralized state institutions for service provision, or liberal characteristics of a democratic participatory political system and a free market economy. These two explanations of state failure pre-dominate the state building debate and its practice. State building is theoretically recognized as constructing state institutions and building upon their functional effectiveness, or it is understood to encompass creation of a legitimate political order, based on popular consent and the establishment of viable and strong economy on free market principles. This understanding when put into practice assumes two main variants of state building model: state building as institution building; and state building as building of a liberal political and economic order. The thesis argues that these two variants of state building when practiced in post conflict situations produce a set of paradoxes that inhibits the attainment of desired goals. It attempts to explore the paradoxes by focusing on external attempts at building states in the Balkans, East Timor, Iraq and Cambodia. Next, it studies the post 2001 state building practice in Afghanistan within the framework of institutional and liberal paradoxes. The thesis specially focuses on the paradoxes generated from an understanding and practice of state building as institution building. It explores the institutional paradoxes at the sub-national district level in Bati Kot, Nangarhar, to study what shape these take at district level and how these prohibit achievements in state building exercises. The findings of the thesis suggest that institutional state building practice in post conflict societies generates two broad categories of paradoxes: capacity building vs. dependency; and formal vs. informal/technocratic vs. traditional. The capacity building vs. dependency paradoxes are generated because the state building intervention fails to achieve its objective of 8 restoring effective statehood in intervened settings, the avowed objective of intervention in the first place. The manner in which capacity building exercises are conducted to build formal state structures, end up making them more dependent on external help and finances. Capacity building actually builds dependency. In a similar vein, technocratic top-down exercise of building institutions, either negates indigenous governance practices, or create belated linkages with informal social and political practices. Resultantly, these either do not find acceptance among local population and end up being adhered to by few in urban centres, or create conditions of de facto influences over the de jure. The interplay between the formal and the informal, depending on context and environment and the initiative, either serves to inhibit state building goals, or promote these, but in non-orthodox, unconventional manner. Such contestations between the formal and the informal, the technocratic and the traditional makes the state building process complex and complicated for external state builders to device state building models that are more adaptive to local conditions.
URI:  http://prr.hec.gov.pk/jspui/handle/123456789//2509
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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