Intervention as Nation-Building: Illusion or Possibility?

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Talentino, Andrea Kathryn (2002) Intervention as Nation-Building: Illusion or Possibility? , Security Dialogue 33(1): .

This article analyzes whether nation-building-style interventions can work. Rather than seeking to debate the propriety of intervention in theory, it asks more practically whether the strategy has any hope of succeeding. History shows that intervention can indeed serve power interests, but holds fewer examples demonstrating the success of nation-building attempts, particularly in enforcement contexts. The article addresses this question by examining the most comprehensive and long-lasting nation-building attempt to date, the NATO and OSCE effort in Bosnia. By posing four questions which can be used to assess progress, the article attempts to determine the value of nation-building as an international strategy by assessing the political, social, and economic efforts to rebuild the country. Finally, it seeks to define the lessons learned by six years in Bosnia in terms of both constructing more effective operations in the future and informing world publics more adequately about their length and complexity.