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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