Local Politics and Democratic State-Building

Issue Date October 2022
Volume 33
Issue 4
Page Numbers 62–73
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State-building goes wrong when local politics is ignored. State-building begins not from anarchy, but from decentralized social order. In democratic state-building, transfers of power to a new national government require popular consent. A democratic state-building mission needs a stabilization-assistance team that can engage with national and local leaders as they negotiate a balanced distribution of power. When the goal is to promote political development, international assistance should be directed by local stabilization officers who can encourage trusted leaders to cooperate in a broad coalition for local governance. An instructive example is USAID’s Office of Rural Affairs in Vietnam in 1962­­­–64.

About the Author

Roger B. Myerson is the David L. Pearson Distinguished Service Professor of Global Conflict Studies in the Harris School of Public Policy and the Griffin Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Game Theory: Analysis of Conflict (1991) and Probability Models for Economic Decisions (2005), and he received the 2007 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

View all work by Roger B. Myerson

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