When Is Top-Down State-Building Appropriate?

Part of the Mercatus Studies in Political and Social Economy book series (MSPSE)


The state has a key role to play in facilitating reconstruction of failed states under certain conditions, such as when there is a breakdown of self-governance and when there are economies of scale in public goods provision, such as with roads and security. Since failed states lack implementation capacity, the donor community has a potentially key role in supporting the state in its efforts to respond to crises. Much like any government intervention, donor responses are subject to information and incentive problems. To increase the chances that donor-assisted state-building works, it is necessary that there are mechanisms to elicit information about the strength and limitations of self-governance at the local level.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Public and International AffairsUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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