North in Mallorca
In October 2000 ESI held a members' meeting on the island of Mallorca to discuss some of the core concepts guiding our analysis. The central question of the two-day seminar was: what is an institution? As Nobel prize winner Douglass North wrote:
"We cannot see, feel, touch or even measure institutions; they are constructs of the human mind."
So how can international missions "build" them? Is there such a thing as best practice in institution or state building? And what was the experience from the Balkans? What emerged from Mallorca was an intellectual agenda for ESI's work in the coming years.