Saving State-Building: EU Contributions to Security Sector Reform in Afghanistan
Thesis DisciplineEuropean Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
State failure represents one of the most pressing concerns for international security in the 21st century, and Afghanistan represents one of the most concerted efforts ever witnessed to address this phenomenon in a lasting and sustainable way. This thesis takes the position that part of the difficulty in finding a remedy for state failure relates to the contradictions and dilemmas inherent within the state-building enterprise itself. The trade-offs required by certain fundamental aspects of state-building must be better understood if they are to be effectively managed, and these trade-offs cannot be understood without critically analysing the basic assumptions of state-building.
To come to grips with these assumptions in concrete terms, this paper examines the European Union’s involvement in Afghanistan as a case study to apply and develop the analytical framework of “dilemma analysis.”
The first major goal of this research will be to outline the tensions within state-building, and to assess their usefulness for explaining some of the difficulties facing state-builders in general terms. The second goal will be to analyse the significance of the specific combination of dilemmas relevant to the case of Afghanistan, in order to show how those dilemmas interact with each other to constrain the EU’s options for effective state-building. The third goal is to identify ways in which the EU and the international community in general can benefit from dilemma analysis when conducting state-building interventions in the future.