Bottom-Up Nation Building
Policy Review, No. 158 (December 2009 & January 2010)
Posted: 14 Mar 2016
Date Written: December 11, 2009
Nation building is much more difficult than is often assumed. In particular, if one tries to engineer, top down changes in the societal formations. In Iraq and even more so in Afghanistan, the commitments to various "tribal" groups (ethnics and confessional) are much stronger than to the nation. Hence trying to run many missions from the central government, is bound to fail. High evaluation was called for. Similarly, in these societies elected officials do not command as much legitimacy as natural leaders, such as religious authorities and tribal chiefs.
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