State Building: Not An Easy Task

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By KRISTIAM HERRERA-CARRASCO, THE NEW YORK TIMES

Issues of building state capacity for regions that have realized independence are numerous.  These areas are beginning to be built all across the globe as well, the result being the necessity of United Nations to assess how they can aid not only in construction of the capitalist states but also in forming compatible relations with other independent states.  In order for these states to function peacefully, according to the UN’s Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL), they must organize their own armed forces (national and local) – private armies would only lead to further conflicts.  Protection of their civilians from threats inside and out is one of the most significant operations.  Another is taxation.  This “necessary evil” of a society must be implemented in order to maintain these armed forces, as well as other required elements.

The formation of a working government might be an example of a very necessary but very challenging aspect of state building.  Obviously, those in power must not exert too much control.  Yet the effort to construct a bureaucracy can be mired in the likes of religious or spiritual beliefs, in which case, there would be a risk that the state could revert back to the old ways of a premodern tribal society.  This is not to say tribal societies could not function, but as a state seeking to be involved in international relations, this would probably cause a myriad of complicated issues of conflicting beliefs.  In addition, building a new government for the now-independent state is not meant to undermine the society’s origins – its customs, morals, or culture overall.  The concern here is creating an effective bureaucracy so that the society’s international relations can operate smoothly.

Thus, a democratic state could work in the favor of allowing the traditions of a society to remain without affecting the legal framework.  Moreover, the state should develop a system of checks and balances.  A government that permits the people to voice their concerns can foster a sense of belonging to a progressive, operational state.  Relations on an international level can also be a matter that involves the citizens so that they feel that they now have a place in the world.

Citizens of these independent states are likely to seek the same types of advantages and assistances as others.  Educational services should be established, and, as it has become state-aided in a wide variety of areas, a healthcare system should be provided.  There is still no conventional standard for what a state can provide within these two common establishments, however.

All of these functions are the norm in the comprised parts of a state.  Each state can still retain its own identity by choosing to implement its own conditions for the individual functions as well.  The development of these independent should lead to a cohesive system that reaches all over the globe, from the least populated to the most densely populated.  Ideally, a world consisting of effectively built nation-states can help to preserve peace.

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