In Chapter 1, we argued that there are deep contradictions and tensions in the idea of statebuilding, which in turn give rise to difficult policy dilemmas for international and local participants in these missions. The recurring problems and shortcomings of statebuilding, in other words, are not simply the result of inadequate coordination or a lack of adequate resources. Understanding these problems requires a deeper investigation of the “conflicted” nature of statebuilding itself. At the most basic level, these contradictions are unchanging and unchange-

able; they are embedded in the very idea of externally assisted statebuilding. The contributions to this volume suggest that five such embedded or core contradictions stand out as particularly fundamental:

1 Outside intervention is used to foster self-government. Even though statebuilding missions are designed to create the conditions for sustainable self-government in host states, by providing assistance to national authorities rather than imposing foreign rule, in practice the power exercised by international statebuilding actors is intrusive, no matter how well meaning it may be. This tension is at the heart of practical challenges such as defining the conditions of legitimacy (and perceived legitimacy) for statebuilding operations, designing transitional governance structures, providing security and delivering public services, determining how long a mission should take place and in what form, and addressing questions of transitional justice.