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

By David Chandler

David Chandler argues that state-building, because it is at present conceived, doesn't paintings. within the Nineties, interventionist guidelines challenged the rights of person states to self-governance. at the present time, non-Western states usually tend to be feted via foreign associations delivering programmes of poverty-reduction, democratisation and sturdy governance. States with out the correct of self-government will regularly lack valid authority. The overseas coverage schedule specializes in bureaucratic mechanisms, which 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 hazards 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 may be of curiosity to all scholars of foreign affairs.Praise for From Kosovo to Kabul and Beyond:'A positive book.' Edward S. Herman 'Anyone inquisitive about global occasions should still learn this book.' international discussion

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Bosnia’s formal international legal sovereignty gives the appearance that it is an independent entity, voluntarily engaged in hosting its state capacity-building guests. Questions of aligning domestic law with the large raft of regulations forming the EU acquis appear as ones of domestic politics. There is no international forum in which the contradictions between Bosnian social and economic demands and the external pressures of Brussels’ policy prescriptions can be raised. However, these questions are not ones of domestic politics.

Postmodernists drew on the work of Foucault to argue that Clausewitz’s famous dictum should be inverted to reveal the illegitimacy of the liberal democratic state and understand ‘politics as the continuation of war by other means’ (Foucault, 2003). David Campbell, Mary Kaldor and others argued that it was the state-orientated perspective of the international community that encouraged many post-Cold War conflicts, such as the Bosnian war (Campbell, 1998b; Kaldor, 1998). In this context, the post-1990s focus on the state, rather than on alternative forms of international governance, might seem to be an unexpected development.

The report spells out that, in its view, ‘sovereignty then means accountability to two separate constituencies: internally, to one’s own population; and internationally, to the community of responsible states’ (ICISS, 2001b: 11). As the ICISS co-chairs note, this shift changes ‘the essence of sovereignty, from control to responsibility’ (Evans and Sahnoun, 2002: 101). The major implications which this shift would have for accountability (a power which is accountable to another, external, body clearly lacks sovereign authority – the capacity for self-government) have been consistently played down by the report’s authors and academic commentators.

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