Material Information

An Examination of US State Building Attempts on Human Security in Developing Nations
McKevitt, Chelsea
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
Undergraduate Honors Thesis


Subjects / Keywords:
Citizenship ( jstor )
Foreign aid ( jstor )
Military facilities ( jstor )
State elections ( jstor )


A review of US state building shows continual failures to implement stable, democratic governments in failed states. While many scholars suggest different methods of state building, they continue to rely on the use of the military to enforce them, and define its success by democratic features in the new government. This research seeks to compare the effects of military-based state building interventions with long-term US foreign aid development projects on their respective effects on human development indicators, arguing that improvements in human development will be associated with more stable governments. Through six case studies of developing states, this research shows that US military approaches follow top-down strategies that largely ignore citizens and rely on elite Americans to create elections in developing states. In foreign aid cases, programs focus on improving the lives of individuals and the stability of the government, although the resulting governments are not necessarily democratic. This paper concludes by arguing that a new approach to state building that relies on long-term foreign aid and does not use military force would create more stable nations at lower costs for the US.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.