Keeping the World Safe for Primary Colors: Area Studies, Development Studies, International Studies, and the Vicissitudes of Nation-Building
ByMark T. Berger
Pages 15

Nation-building is back. Since the end of the Cold War and particularly since 9/11, it has returned to the center of academic and policy debates in the context of various attempts to revitalize or establish regional or international security organizations and development frameworks. This essay links the formulation of contemporary nation-building strategies to a critical examination of the history of earlier nation-building efforts. It does this by setting the idea and practice of nation-building against the backdrop of the international history of the twentieth century. In particular, there is a need to talk about security and development in relation to: decolonization, the Cold War, the universalization of the modern nation-state system, the vicissitudes of the global political economy, the transformation of international relations since 9/11, and the contemporary crisis of the nation-state system. More particularly, this paper focuses on the history of the idea and practice of nation-building in an effort to explicate the roles of development studies (DS) and area studies (AS) in the constitution and transformation of the field of international studies (IS). The aim here is to clarify in broad terms how all these fields of study have been, and continue to be, embedded in international security and economic/develop-ment policy processes and questions of international relations and global governance. 1