Andrew Radin, Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation.
Elizabeth Threlkeld, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center.
Sameer Lalwani, Senior Fellow and Director of the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center.
In his recent book, Institution-Building in Weak States: The Primacy of Local Politics, Andrew Radin identifies lessons for institution building from past interventions in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Timor Leste and Ukraine. The book’s core finding is that interveners achieve the greatest success at improving partner institutions when they avoid provoking domestic opposition, and that they can do so by avoiding threatening two core domestic interests – nationalist goals and patron-client networks. The book also shows how improvements to state institutions depend on the size and scale of the international effort and the pre-existing level of development within a society.