Why state-building interventions fail
International trusteeships — that is, United Nations-sanctioned efforts to directly exercise power in areas where states have failed — rarely accomplish their intended results. In the current issue of Governance, David Lake and Christopher Fariss explain why. They examine the impact of imposed peacekeeping missions authorized by the United Nations since 1991 and find that these missions frequently fail to produce states with greater capacity. Moreover international trusteeship has “no discernable effect” on the provision of critical public services. These interventions fail for two reasons: lack of support from local elites, and lack of long-term commitment on the part of interveners. Read the article.