You, the People: The United Nations, Transitional Administration, and State-Building

By Simon Chesterman | Go to book overview

Introduction

He who desires or attempts to reform the government of a state, and wishes to have it accepted and capable of maintaining itself to the satisfaction of everybody, must at least retain the semblance of the old forms; so that it may seem to the people that there has been no change in the institutions, even though in fact they are entirely different from the old ones.

Niccolò Machiavelli 1

This war is not as in the past; whoever occupies a territory also imposes on it his own social system. Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach. It cannot be otherwise.

Josef Stalin 2

Is it possible to establish the conditions for legitimate and sustainable national governance through a period of benevolent foreign autocracy? This contradiction between ends and means has plagued recent efforts to govern post-conflict territories in the Balkans, East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq—just as it plagued the colonies and occupied territories that are their political forebears. Such state-building operations combine an unusual mix of idealism and realism: the idealist project that a people can be saved from themselves through education, economic incentives, and the space to develop mature political institutions; the realist basis for that project in what is ultimately military occupation.

In early 1995, chastened by the failed operation in Somalia, the failing operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and inaction in the face of genocide in Rwanda, UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali issued a conservative supplement to his more optimistic 1992 Agenda for

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You, the People: The United Nations, Transitional Administration, and State-Building
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • You, the People iii
  • Foreword v
  • Foreword vii
  • Chapter Outline ix
  • Contents xi
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • Abbreviations xviii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: Colonies and Occupied Territories 11
  • 2: Power and Change 48
  • 3: Peace and Security 99
  • 4: Consultation and Accountability 126
  • 5: Justice and Reconciliation 154
  • 6: Relief and Reconstruction 183
  • 7: Elections and Exit Strategies 204
  • 8: 'You, the People' 236
  • Appendix 258
  • References 260
  • Index 286
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