David E. Schmitt
William Crotty, Amilcar Antonio Barreto
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Department or Academic Unit
College of Arts and Sciences. Department of Political Science
Political science, International law and relations
Since the end of the Cold War, the United Nations and Western states have responded to severe internal crises of conflict-ridden territories by intervening and directly managing their internal affairs with the purported aim of strengthening state capacity. In some instances, external actors have even developed the institutions of government, while exercising the executive, legislative, and judicial powers of the modern state. This study explores the dominant assumptions that underlie the developmental strategies of the international administrations in Bosnia, Kosovo, and East Timor. I argue that these interventions tend to view state-building as a technical process that can ignore local politics and bypass the important role of consensus building in the formation of state institutions. The study shows that this technocratic view of state-building is a corollary of how Western powers have reinterpreted the institution of sovereignty from a formal-legal right to one in which non-Western states have an ethical responsibility to provide certain normative standards of good governance to their citizens in order to be recognized as legitimate sovereign authorities. Sovereignty as responsibility thus provides a certain blueprint for international policymakers involved in administering and rebuilding war-torn societies. The study finds that while international led state-building aims to rebuild stable and effective independent states, such regulatory and invasive policies are more likely to produce weak state institutions that lack local legitimacy, or at the very least, are highly dependent upon international support for their continued existence.
Joseph B. Coelho
Coelho, Joseph B., "Building stable and effective states through international governance: the politics of technocratic interventions" (2008). Public and International Affairs Dissertations. Paper 1. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d10016557
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