Making states work


State Failure and the Crisis of Governance

Edited by Simon Chesterman, Michael Ignatieff, and Ramesh Thakur

Published by United Nations University Press

What mechanisms make for a successful state?

Although much has been written about state failures and the reasons for such occurrences, very little attention has been paid to what constitutes state success and what are the mechanisms for achieving success.

Making States Work, published by United Nations University Press and a collaboration between the International Peace Academy and the United Nations University, due to be launched in May, goes some way towards addressing the issue by looking at the roles played by international actors, local political elites, and civil society groups in the building and in some cases, rebuilding of public institutions before they reach a point of failure to make the state work.

The book is edited by Simon Chesterman, Executive Director of the Institute for International Law and Justice at New York University School of law; Michael Ignatieff, Carr Professor of Human Rights Practice at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and the Director of the Carr center of Human Rights Policy; and Ramesh Thakur, Senior Vice Rector, United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan and Assistant Secretary-General United Nations.

Contributors to the volume are:

  • Simon Chesterman is Executive Director of the Institute for International Law and Justice at New York University School of Law.
  • Michael Ignatieff is the Director of the Carr Center of Human Rights Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government
  • Ramesh Thakur is Senior Vice-Rector of United Nations University and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • Sebastian von Einsiedel is a Researcher with the UN Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change.
  • James Mayall is Director of the Centre of International Studies at Cambridge University.
  • Barnett R. Rubin is Director of Studies and Senior Fellow at the Center on International Cooperation in New York.
  • Andrea Armstrong is a Research Associate at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
  • Monica Serrano is a professor of politics at El Colegio de Mexico and a Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies, Oxford.
  • Paul Kenny used to teach literature at London University, and now writes it in Mexico City.
  • Benjamin Reilly is a Senior Lecturer in the Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University
  • Elsina Wainwright directs the Strategy and International Program at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI)
  • Samina Ahmed is Project Director for South Asia at the International Crisis Group.
  • Hazel Smith is Professor of International Relations at the University of Warwick.
  • Amin Saikal is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies (the Middle East and Central Asia) at Australian National University
  • Michel Cahen is a Researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientique in France.
  • Abelardo Morales-Gamboa is the Academic Coordinator of the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), Costa Rica.
  • Stephen Baranyi is the Principal Researcher on Conflict Prevention at the North-South Institute (NSI).
  • Patricia Shu Ming Tan directs the COMO Foundation
  • Simon S.C. Tay teaches international law at the National University of Singapore and chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs
  • William Zartman is the Jacob Blaustein Professor of International Organization and Conflict Resolution and Director of the African Studies and Conflict Management programs at the Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.
  • Thomas G. Weiss is Presidential Professor of Political Science at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York
  • Peter J. Hoffman is a Research Associate at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies
  • Alex Boraine is currently a Senior Research Fellow at New York University's Global Law School.

    Table of Contents:


  • Introduction
  • Policy Responses to State Failure
  • The Legacy of Colonialism
  • Human Rights, Power, and the State
  • The Great Lakes and South Central Asia
  • Colombia and the Andean crisis
  • The South Pacific
  • Reviving State Legitimacy in Pakistan
  • Disintegration and Reconstitution in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • Afghanistan's Weak State and Strong Society
  • Success in Mozambique
  • State-building, National Leadership, and "Relative Success" in Costa Rica
  • From Vulnerability to Success
  • The British Withdrawal from Singapore
  • Early and "Early Late" Prevention
  • Making Humanitarianism Work Transitional Justice
  • Transitional Administration, State-building, and the United Nations The Future of State-building

    Source: Eurekalert & others

    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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