“Good Enough” Governance


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Karl W. Eikenberry and Stephen D. Krasner
Civil Wars, Violence, and International Responses

Karl Eikenberry is a former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and Lieutenant General, U.S. Army (retired). He is a faculty member of Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University; Non-Resident Fellow at the Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination at Princeton University; and Board Member of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva, Switzerland. Previously he was the Director of the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University.

Prior to his arrival at Stanford, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2009 until 2011. Before appointment as Chief of Mission in Kabul, Ambassador Eikenberry had a thirty-five-year career in the United States Army, retiring in April 2009 with the rank of lieutenant general. His military operational posts included commander and staff officer with mechanized, light, airborne, and ranger infantry units in the continental United States, Hawaii, Korea, Italy, and in Afghanistan as the Commander of the American-led Coalition forces. He held various policy and political-military positions, including Deputy Chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium; Director for Strategic Planning and Policy for U.S. Pacific Command at Camp Smith, Hawaii; U.S. Security Coordinator and Chief of the Office of Military Cooperation in Kabul, Afghanistan; and Assistant Army and later Defense Attaché at the United States Embassy in Beijing, China.

He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, has earned master’s degrees from Harvard University in East Asian Studies and Stanford University in Political Science, and was a National Security Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Ambassador Eikenberry earned an Interpreter’s Certificate in Mandarin Chinese from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office while studying at the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence Chinese Language School in Hong Kong and has an Advanced Degree in Chinese History from Nanjing University in the People’s Republic of China. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012.



Stephen D. Krasner is the Graham H. Stuart Professor of International Relations at Stanford University. He was the Senior Associate Dean for the Social Sciences, School of Humanities & Sciences, from 2010 to 2013 and the Deputy Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) from 2007 to 2014. He was also Chair of the Political Science Department at Stanford from 1984 to 1991. Krasner is 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 U.S. State Department. While at the State Department, Krasner was a driving force behind foreign assistance reform designed to target more effectively American foreign aid. He was also involved in activities related to the promotion of good governance and democratic institutions around the world. In 2002, he served as Director for Governance and Development at the National Security Council. Before coming to Stanford in 1981 he taught at Harvard University and at the University of California, Los Angeles. He served as the editor of International Organization from 1986 to 1992. He has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (1987 to 1988) and at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2000 to 2001). His major publications include Defending the National Interest: Raw Materials Investment and American Foreign Policy (1978), Structural Conflict: The Third World Against Global Liberalism (1985), Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy (1999), and How to Make Love to a Despot (2020). The publications he has edited include International Regimes (1983), Exploration and Contestation in the Study of World Politics (coeditor, 1999), Problematic Sovereignty: Contested Rules and Political Possibilities (2001), and Power, the State, and Sovereignty: Essays on International Relations (2009). He received a BA in History from Cornell University, an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991.