There is no consensus in the policy or academic worlds about what kind of interventions are most effective in promoting governance in badly governed polities. The three major approaches to understanding state development — modernization theory, institutional capacity, and rational choice institutionalism suggest very different approaches. While modernization theory is most expansive about the possibilities for external action, its record over time is the most problematic. Rational choice institutionalism, in contrast, suggests that in rent-seeking exclusive orders the opportunities for external actors are limited. Rational choice institutionalism, however, does not provide a clear mapping of mixed order polities, ones in which the interests of political elites are torn between open access and rent-seeking.
Stephen Krasner is the Graham H. Stuart Professor of International Relations, the Senior Associate Dean for the Social Sciences, School of Humanities & Sciences, and the deputy director of FSI. A former director of CDDRL, Krasner is also an FSI senior fellow, and a fellow of the Hoover Institution. From February 2005 to April 2007 he served as the Director of Policy Planning at the US State Department. While at the State Department, Krasner was a driving force behind foreign assistance reform designed to more effectively target American foreign aid. He was also involved in activities related to the promotion of good governance and democratic institutions around the world.