In this book, Timothy Sisk explores international efforts to help the world’s most fragile post-civil war countries today build viable states that can provide for security and deliver the basic services essential for development. Tracing the historical roots of statebuilding to the present day, he demonstrates how the United Nations, leading powers, and well-meaning donors have engaged in statebuilding as a strategic approach to peacebuilding after war. Their efforts are informed by three key objectives: to enhance security by preventing war recurrence and fostering community and human security; to promote development through state provision of essential services such as water, sanitation, and education; to enhance human rights and democracy, reflecting the liberal international order that reaffirms the principles of democracy and human rights, .
Improving governance, alongside the state's ability to integrate social differences and manage conflicts over resources, identity, and national priorities, is essential for long-term peace. Whether the global statebuilding enterprise can succeed in creating a world of peaceful, well-governed, development-focused states is unclear. But the book concludes with a road map toward a better global regime to enable peacebuilding and development-oriented statebuilding into the 21st century.