Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

First Advisor

Carrie Manning

Second Advisor

Kim Reimann

Third Advisor

Ryan Carlin


Why do international humanitarian aid interventions have sub-optimal results in weak states? States matter to the success of relief efforts, yet the irony here is that the weakness of the state is one of the criteria that both drives an international intervention and exacerbates the humanitarian emergency in the first place. To be successful, external humanitarian relief efforts require the presence of a minimally effective state. There are a number of factors that lead to INGOs unable to adapt to lack of state capacity in the field. This research examines two solutions to this issue: local community empowerment and an external actor creating a half-way house scenario to augment the weak state.