Event Detail

Print print

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Post 9/11 Interventions: National Security or Imperial Hubris?

Establishing new systems of government Our initial goals to turn Iraq and Afghanistan into liberal democracies have been replaced by more modest goals of ensuring stability and sovereignty. In Iraq, we tried to build up a federal, decentralized system in a country that was used to a strong central government. In Afghanistan, we tried to create a strong centralized state in a country with a tradition of decentralization. Some complain that our focus has been too much on security forces, rather than building up the necessary democratic institutions. The US has been keen to support elections as a means to create more legitimate government – though some would argue that these serve more to legitimize foreign intervention by providing ‘local ownership’ than to generate inclusive government. The countries in question do not have a population educated for democracy; do not have political parties that are able to represent their constituents; and tend not to have a tradition of a loyal opposition. Elections since 9/11 have been marked by the success of anti-US groups (Hamas, Hizbollah, Sadrists); corruption to distort the results of the election; and the inability to form coalitions after elections. This session will explore whether we can impose new systems of government; can democracy can bring stability; whether our focus on stability is undermining building democracy; and whether there are alternative systems to democracy (local, customary, tribal) which we could support and how.

  • Location:
    Littauer 166
  • Date:
    Thursday, February 24, 2011
  • Time:
    4:00 PM

Contact Email

< Return to Events Calendar

Search Events

Enter keyword phrase, location, speaker, or event sponsor.

Search Events

View by Event Type

View by Event Type

Sort by Date

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5
7 8 9 10 11 12
14 15 16 17 18 19
21 22 23 24 25 26

John F. Kennedy School of Government 79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-495-1100 Get Directions Visit Contact Page