Europe's Role in Nation-Building: From the Balkans to the Congo

The third in a series of studies looking at nation building (the first two of which focused on U.S.- and UN-led efforts), this volume examines Europe's expanding role in trying to bring peace and stability to trouble spots. Under the direction of Dobbins -- a former top diplomat with crisis-management experience in the Balkans, Somalia, Haiti, and Afghanistan -- a team of RAND scholars has compiled large amounts of data about such missions in an effort to bring some rigor to the debate about different sorts of nation-building efforts. In a series of case studies including Bosnia, Macedonia, Côte d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, they assess inputs such as the number of troops and police, the length of the mission, and the level of economic assistance and then compare them with outcome assessments regarding military casualties, the sustainability of the peace, refugee return, economic growth, and governance. The number of variables involved in such different cases makes scientific comparison difficult, but the study does show that European Union missions have been not only fairly successful but also smaller, safer, shorter, and less challenging than those run by the United States or the United Nations. The EU is developing a nation-building capability, but it remains embryonic.

Latest Commentary & News analysis