Aila Matanock, Assistant Professor in the UC-Berkeley Political Science Department, will be presenting her research. "Untouchable Forces: Restoring Trust in Security in Weak States?" Aila has researched widely on the reconstruction of states following civil war. Her work spans the methodological spectrum, including well-identified quantitative methods, field experiments and participant interviews.
Many of the contemporary challenges to vital interests of the U.S. emanate from transnational security threats due to badly governed states. Geostrategic politics and resource constraints have rendered large and coercive interventions rare, but more modest statebuilding missions in cooperation with host states continue to offer a potential option to counter these threats. We examine a crucial set of effects of one of these “invited interventions” in which host states delegate central governance functions in their policing and judicial sectors to foreign states or intergovernmental organizations in order to reform them. Despite their potential in strengthening weak states, and thus reducing transnational security threats emanating from them, little has been done to test the potential of invited intervention. We argue that these invited interventions are likely to increase capacity and decrease corruption where they are directly mandated, but that they are unlikely to broadly strengthen the state by increasing citizen trust in the state’s own security sector institutions overall. Combining observational and experimental data, we examine a canonical case of invited intervention: the U.N.’s International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG)