Toward a Nation-Building Operating Concept   [open pdf - 445KB]

From the thesis abstract: "This monograph explores political science theory and contemporary practice to develop a structural framework for nation-building. The generalized framework is predicated on the observation that interagency operations can achieve a degree of self-synchronization by implementing a high-level operating concept. There are seven thematic attributes of a nation-building operating concept: persistent effort over time, the requirement for normative decisions during intervention, bottom-up development of representative and accountable institutions, transparency, incremental adaptation, and limited scope of indigenous government powers. These are derived from political science and economic theory, as well as observations of contemporary nation-building operations. These nation-building themes can help to resolve the disequilibrium in institutional power that characterizes most nation-building operations. A number of tools to support development of a context-specific operating concept for nation-building: a taxonomy of state strength for assessing structural weaknesses, a set of conflict regulating behaviors that facilitate settlements, a framework for DDR [Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration] activities, recommendations for balancing compulsory power of the state with the power of voluntary citizen association, techniques for reducing corruption, an institutional approach to security force assistance, and illustrative metrics for institution building. Success derives from broad support for political and economic development efforts. Progress is attained through self-synchronization of autonomous government and private sector agencies, rather than ad hoc bureaucratic control mechanisms."

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