Friday, August 23, 2013

Paul D. Miller's "Armed State Building"

Paul D. Miller is a political scientist in the National Security Research Division at the RAND Corporation. He served as Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan on the National Security Council staff from 2007 through September 2009. Prior to joining RAND, Miller was an assistant professor at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., at which he developed and directed the College of International Security Affairs' South and Central Asia Program. He also worked as an analyst in the Central Intelligence Agency's Office of South Asian Analysis, and served in Afghanistan as a military intelligence officer with the U.S. Army.

Miller applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Armed State Building: Confronting State Failure, 1898–2012, and reported the following:
Page 99 of my book draws out lessons from the U.S. Interventions in Cuba from 1898 to 1909. It's a pretty good sample of how I try to apply my theory. But the heart of my book, which I hope any casual reader would skim, is chapters 3-5, where I develop a new definition of statehood, state failure, and state building. In my view, conventional views of statehood have been too shallow and one-dimensional. We have to appreciate the various aspects or dimensions of statehood, including security but also legitimacy, capacity, prosperity, and humanity. States can fail along any one of these dimensions, and thus strategies of state building must address the kind of state failure that has happened in failed states. Page 99 shows me trying to understand how and why the U.S. failed to do this in Cuba a century ago.
Learn more about Armed State Building at the Cornell University Press website.

Writers Read: Paul D. Miller.

--Marshal Zeringue