"Plans for state-building or stabilization missions should take account of the political nature of the state that is being built. A state is a political system that puts some people into positions of power and induces the rest of the nation to accept their authority. The feasibility and cost of a state-building mission can depend critically on the way that the state distributes power. In particular, when foreign forces help to defend the authority of a state, its national leaders have more incentive to centralize political power narrowly around themselves. But such centralization can alienate key local leaders and so can substantially increase the need for costly foreign efforts to maintain the state. Planners for state-building missions need an analytical framework for recognizing the vital importance of such questions about the constitutional distribution of power. For a framework to be broadly applicable in different countries, it should be derived from a general analysis of incentives in political organizations, not from a projection of some idealized view of our own political system. This article develops such a framework."
National Defense University Press: http://ndupress.ndu.edu/
PRISM (March 2011), v.2 no.2, p 91-100