Skip Navigation LinksCSL home > Library > Document



Varieties of State-Building in the Balkans: A Case for Shifting Focus

31 pages, pdf
 Download Back


Varieties of State-Building in the Balkans: A Case for Shifting Focus

Publisher: Susan L. Woodward

Volume: 31 pages, pdf


One of the more striking changes with the end of the Cold War and the socialist regimes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union was the attitude of major powers and their international security and financial institutions – the United Nations, NATO, the World Bank, the EU – toward the state. During the Cold War, the primary threat to international peace and prosperity was said to be states that were too strong – totalitarian, authoritarian or developmental – in their capacity and will to interfere in the operation of markets and the private lives of citizens. Almost overnight, the problem became states that were too weak: unable or unwilling to provide core services to their population and maintain peace and order throughout their sovereign territory. Provoked by the violent break-up of socialist Yugoslavia beginning in 1991 and the concurrent humanitarian crises in Africa (particularly in Sudan and Somalia), this new analysis identified the cause of these new threats of civil wars, famine, poverty, and their spillover in refugees, transnational organised crime and destabilised neighbours, as fragile, failing or failed states. International attention and assistance was thus redirected to building up governmental capacities and institutions as a solution.