The most distinctive feature of transitional administrations is the establishment and management of interim administrative structures with wholesale responsibility for the implementation of public policy and the delivery of essential public services—the core functions of a government. Examines the structures and practices that have been adopted for the purpose of performing civil administrative functions and the relationship these institutions have to local governmental bodies. A better balance, it is argued here, needs to be struck between the demands for effective and efficient international administration in the short term and the strengthening of local capacity in the longer term if transitional authorities are not to leave behind weak states or territories as a part of their legacy.
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