International Statebuilding: The Rise of Post-Liberal Governance, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

International Statebuilding

The Rise of Post-Liberal Governance, 1st Edition

By David Chandler


222 pages

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This concise and accessible new text offers original and insightful analysis of the policy paradigm informing international statebuilding interventions. The book covers the theoretical frameworks and practices of international statebuilding, the debates they have triggered, and the way that international statebuilding has developed in the post-Cold War era.

Spanning a broad remit of policy practices from post-conflict peacebuilding to sustainable development and EU enlargement, Chandler draws out how these policies have been cohered around the problematization of autonomy or self-government. Rather than promoting democracy on the basis of the universal capacity of people for self-rule, international statebuilding assumes that people lack capacity to make their own judgements safely and therefore that democracy requires external intervention and the building of civil society and state institutional capacity. Chandler argues that this policy framework inverses traditional liberal–democratic understandings of autonomy and freedom – privileging governance over government – and that the dominance of this policy perspective is a cause of concern for those who live in states involved in statebuilding as much as for those who are subject to these new regulatory frameworks.

Encouraging readers to reflect upon the changing understanding of both state–society relations and of the international sphere itself, this work will be of great interest to all scholars of international relations, international security and development.


'International statebuilding is both challenging and rewarding.' - Roger Mac Ginty, International Peacekeeping, Vol. 19, 1, January 2012

‘This book will serve those interested in using international relations and similar disciplines to make sense of the world through the statebuilding paradigm and the statebuilders’ lens …This book represents a useful toolbox for those statebuilders and policymakers who wonder about the origins and various applications of the terms they use in their everyday work.’ - Laura Salich Di Francesca, The International Spectator

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Statebuilding Paradigm 2. The ‘Liberal Peace’ Critique of International Intervention 3. Rethinking the State 4. Post-Liberal Governance 5. The EU’s Export of ‘The Rule of Law’ and ‘Good Governance’ 6. Security and Statebuilding: From Intervention to Prevention 7. Development as Freedom: From Colonialism to Climate Change 8. Race, Culture and Civil Society: Statebuilding and the Privileging of Difference 9. Conclusion

About the Author

David Chandler is Professor of International Relations, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding and author or editor of several books in this field, including: Bosnia: Faking Democracy after Dayton (Pluto, 1999); Peace without Politics: Ten Years of International Statebuilding in Bosnia (Routledge, 2006); Empire in Denial: The Politics of Statebuilding (Pluto, 2006); and Statebuilding and Intervention: Policies, Practices and Paradigms (Routledge, 2009).

About the Series

Critical Issues in Global Politics

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Civics & Citizenship
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Parties
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / General