Exit Strategies and State Building

Professor Richard Caplans new book, Exit Strategies and State Building, based on his CIS research project, has been published by Oxford University Press.

In the past two decades, states and multilateral organizations have devoted considerable resources towards efforts to stabilize peace and rebuild war-torn societies in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, and Sierra Leone. Despite these prodigious efforts, there has been relatively little consideration of the critical questions arising from the end game of state-building operations. In Exit Strategies and State Building, sixteen leading scholars and practitioners focus on relevant historical and contemporary cases of exit to provide a comprehensive overview of this crucial issue. By examining the major challenges associated with the conclusion of international state-building operations and the requirements for the maintenance of peace in the period following exit, this book provides unique perspective on a critical aspect of military and political intervention. Exit Strategies and State Building sheds new light on what is not merely an academic issue, but also a pressing global policy concern.

A preview of the book is available on Amazon at:

Richard Caplan is Professor of International Relations and an Official Fellow of Linacre College.


This book should be compulsory reading for all concerned citizens at a time when Iraq and Afghanistan have raised major questions about the merits of interventionist policies. -Jean-Marie Guhenno, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations

This is an excellent collection of essays, bringing together an impressive cast of contributors and covering an unusually wide range of thematic issues and case studies. It fills a gap in the burgeoning literature on peace- and state-building and merits a wide readership, including from the world of policy-making. -Professor Mats Berdal, Department of War Studies, Kings College London

Designing and implementing exit strategies for international efforts to rebuild war-torn societies has never been more necessary or fraught. The insightful essays so ably assembled by Richard Caplan dissipate the fog of contemporary peace-building. -Professor Thomas G. Weiss, Director, Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, CUNY Graduate Center

Richard Caplan has assembled a superb collection of thematic and case-study essays on the challenges and modalities of exit in state building operations, a topic that is finally receiving the attention it deserves. -Professor Roland Paris, University Chair in International Security and Governance, University of Ottawa