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The term 'nation-building' has experienced a remarkable renaissance since the early 1990s. It has been used to describe and to justify the military interventions in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Linked to the idea of 'failed' or 'failing' states, the concept is used to hide and legitimise a whole range of diverse policies, allowing foreign powers to control and reshape countries in areas of conflict. Currently the international debate on nation building is heavily dominated by US actors and authors, especially by writers connected to the Bush administration or its policies. This book presents academic and political alternatives, presenting a critical view from 'Old Europe'. The book combines academic research and analysis with policy orientation, with contributors from both fields. It clarifies the terminology distinguishing developmental, peace-related, imperial and analytical approaches to nation-building. Highlighting its connections to globalization, democracy, ethnic and religious minorities, the contributors consider case studies such as Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and Nigeria.
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Dr. Jochen Hippler, Political Scientist at the University of Duisburg-Essen and its Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), specialises in regional conflicts and interventionism in the Third World, political identities, and the Middle East. He is the former Director of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam and the author of numerous books and articles including Pax Americana (Pluto Press 2004), The Democratisation of Disempowerment (Pluto Press 1995) and The Next Threat (Pluto Press, 1995).Review:
This is a useful book, basically policy-orientated rather than theoretical. As rebuilding after conflict is likely to be an on-going need, the book contains really useful observations -- International Journal on World Peace
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