A Featured Essay for the Autumn 2011 Quarterly Release
by Elizabeth Royall (Washington, District of Columbia, U.S.A.)
Edited by Associate Editor Ellie Hamrick
This paper details how current reconstruction strategy is not suited for the problems and culture of postconflict states, the common elements present in postconflict countries, and how local governance and programming is better suited to address postwar problems. The case study of autonomous Somaliland is examined as an example of building society and governance from the ground up without a heavy international footprint. Finally, a new model of reconstruction strategy is presented that will channel indigenous leadership and skills to build governance in local areas while slowly increasing self-sustaining capacity at all levels of government.
This work was inspired by Elizabeth's work on the formations of democracy and conflict resolution with Dr. Eric Patterson, the associate director of the Berkley Center. She is a MA candidate in international security at Georgetown University and a 2009 magna cum laude graduate from American University with degrees in international studies and journalism. Her undergraduate thesis focused on reconstruction in Afghanistan and was selected to be presented at two national undergraduate research conferences. She previously worked at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C.