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Richard Caplan’s new book, Exit Strategies and State Building, fills a noticeable void in the otherwise rapidly expanding literature on international state-building. Despite the volume of scholarly attention dedicated to issues of peace- and state-building of recent decades, relatively little consideration has hitherto been given to questions regarding the “end game” of post-conflict state-building operations. This book seeks to address that gap and, therein, examine one of the most contentious issues for any state-building operation; the decision of when and how to leave. Exit Strategies and State Building comprises a collection of chapters written by expert academics in the field and high-level practitioners with extensive experience on the ground during these missions. It is therefore both a well-informed and rounded contribution to the literature and essential reading both for scholars of post-conflict state-building and policymakers alike.

Politics in Spires is launching a new series in which contributers are invited review books written by Oxford academics. If you know of a recent (last 24 months) book by anyone at Oxford please submit it to Here is a provisional list of books for review: