Reconstructing Weak and Failed States: Insights from Tocqueville
Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, 2006, 31(2): 143-162.
Posted: 29 Jun 2006 Last revised: 31 Mar 2009
It is argued that the process of reconstructing weak and failed states along liberal democratic lines is a cultural rather than a mere technical issue. The work of Alexis de Tocqueville provides key insights into the foundations of liberal democracy and the limitations on the ability of foreign countries to export liberal democratic institutions via military occupation and reconstruction. After considering these insights, the implications for reconstruction efforts are considered.
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