Challenges in State-Building

Post-conflict state-building is here to stay as a rule to follow when resolving and reconstructing a war-torn area. Regional organizations in cooperation with the United Nations (UN) are a promising division of labor to utilize in state-building. When any organization, be that state or non-state actors intervene in a conflict, it presents numerous challenges. This essay, using punitive and reconciliatory measures as a focus, highlights the challenges to sovereignty, the use of force, and accountability inherent to state-building as a norm in the international community.

State/nation-building as a term to describe the resolution of conflict and reconstruction of an area post-conflict is an oversimplification of the variables at play. However, for the sake of clarity, the term state-building will be used in this essay. James Dobbins et al. (2003) underpins this when describing other conflict resolution terms by saying, “we believe it comes closest to suggesting the full range of activities and objectives involved” (p. 1). Other names that include similar activities found in state-building are occupations, peacekeeping missions, as well as stabilization and reconstruction missions.

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Utilizing the Tools of Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction

Policymakers face increasing challenges when utilizing the tools of conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction. These devices are interconnected, however, since the end of the Cold War their connections have become critically important due to the overwhelming degree of intrastate conflict. This essay will explain conflict resolution and reconstruction as well as why conflict is notably internal post-Cold War. Understanding the connections between political, security and economic tools of resolution and reconstruction will aid in understanding how they are applied. As well, this essay will analyze the challenges actors come up against when using those tools in an attempt to resolve a conflict of notable intrastate dynamics.

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