CSS Research and Policy Seminars with Karim Elkady

Karim Elkady, a post-doctoral fellow with CSS, presented chapters from his book manuscript on state-building at two CSS Research and Policy Seminars in April and June. Elkady explores the determinants of successful U.S. state-building efforts, advancing a novel theory that alliances with local political forces and the creation of secure environments jointly explain most success stories. In the two chapters presented, Elkady applies this theory to demonstrate why the allied occupation of post-war West Germany produced a capable state, while a similar effort in South Korea only produced mixed results before the onset of the Korean War.

Elkady’s approach improves on older approaches explaining the outcomes of state-building efforts that either focused solely on the strategies adopted by the intervening power or the conditions on the ground. In Elkady’s new book, local political allies support the intervening power by rallying the population behind a state-building effort, while the United States focuses on guaranteeing the security conditions for that project’s success. CSS looks forward to learning more about Elkady’s other case studies and to the forthcoming publication of his book.

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