Strategic decisions to reduce the size, scope, or ambitions of organizations - including states - in order to enhance future prospects, are among the most difficult and least well-understood choices made in collective life. This volume makes a bold effort to identify the conditions in which less really is more. Each contributor to the volume analyzes the possibilities for institutional redesign, including state contraction, for responding effectively to destabilizing and often violence-laden conflicts. Among the countries discussed in detail are Turkey, Pakistan, Morocco, Congo, Jordan, Indonesia, Russia and the former Soviet Union, Iraq, and India. An impressive array of experts assess strategies that go against the grain, strategies to 'righsize' and even 'downsize' states by changing their external and internal borders. Typically this means opposing prevailing prejudices against partition and 'seraratist' solutions as well as paying high political costs in the short run for more manageable political problems in the long run. Understanding the conditions under which such strategies can be entertained and successfully implemented is as difficult, and as important, as making this kind of option available to beleaguered states in a complex and rapidly changing world.
Publisher: Oxford University Press