Empire in Denial: The Politics of State-Building by David Chandler

By David Chandler

David Chandler argues that state-building, because it is at the moment conceived, doesn't paintings. within the Nineties, interventionist regulations challenged the rights of person states to self-governance. this day, non-Western states usually tend to be feted by means of overseas associations providing programmes of poverty-reduction, democratisation and stable governance. States with no the best of self-government will constantly lack valid authority. The foreign coverage schedule specializes in bureaucratic mechanisms, that could merely instutiutionalise divisions among the West and the non-West and are not able to beat the social and political divisions of post-conflict states. Highlighting the risks of present coverage -- together with the redefinition of sovereignty, and the subsquent erosion of ties linking strength and responsibility -- David Chandler deals a severe examine state-building that would be of curiosity to all scholars of foreign affairs.Praise for From Kosovo to Kabul and Beyond:'A nice book.' Edward S. Herman 'Anyone taken with global occasions should still learn this book.' international discussion

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Where the incentive of European membership is not available, a wide range of other governance partnerships has been established around acceptance that the core problem of non-Western states is that of state capacity and that the solution lies with the shared responsibilities of both the non-Western state and international institutions. The general rule of thumb appears to be that the greater the inequalities at play in the relationship between non-Western states and international institutions the more grandiose the language of partnership.

Despite talking up the partnership between international institutions, the EU and prospective member states, the state-building process has been directed by close cooperation between the EU and international financial institutions which together have provided ‘an effective means of focusing authorities’ minds on essential reforms and of engaging with them in a sustained way to secure implementation’ (EU, 2001: IIIc). Since 2000 the concept of state-building through international partnerships to enhance governance capacities has increasingly replaced external pressures.

By associating sovereignty with a sliding scale of capacities, rather than political and legal rights of equality, not only is a new international hierarchy legitimised but intervention can be framed as supporting sovereignty at the same time as it is undermining the rights of self-government. This inversion of the concept of ‘sovereignty’ is formulated in the clearest terms in the UK Overseas Development Institute working paper report ‘Closing the Sovereignty Gap’. In this report, by Ashraf Ghani, Clare Lockhart and Michael Carnahan, sovereignty is understood in functional rather than political or legal terms: 36 Empire in Denial The consensus now emerging from global economic, military and political institutions signals that this gap between de jure sovereignty and de facto sovereignty is the key obstacle to ensuring global security and prosperity.

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