New Agendas in Statebuilding: Hybridity, Contingency and History, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

New Agendas in Statebuilding

Hybridity, Contingency and History, 1st Edition

Edited by Robert Egnell, Peter Haldén


284 pages

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This volume connects the study of statebuilding to broader aspects of social theory and the historical study of the state, bringing forth new questions and starting-points, both academically and practically, for the field.

Building states has become a highly prioritized issue in international politics. Since the 1990s, mainly Western countries and international institutions have invested large sums of money, vast amounts of manpower, and considerable political capital in ventures of this kind all across the globe. Most of the focus in current literature is on the acute cases, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, but also to states that seem to fit the label ‘failed states’ such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Somalia.

This book brings together a diverse group of scholars who introduce new theoretical approaches from the broader social sciences. The chapters revisit historical cases of statebuilding, and provide thought-provoking, new strategic perspectives on the field. The result is a volume that broadens and deepens our understanding of statebuilding by highlighting the importance of hybridity, contingency and history in a broad range of case-studies.

This book will be of much interest to students of statebuilding and intervention, peacebuilding, war and conflict studies, security studies and IR in general.


'This book is highly recommended as a valuable contribution to the recently developing body of critical literature on conflict resolution, peace and state-building.'

Bilge Yabanci, University of Bath, Journal of Conflict Transformation and Security

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Need for New Agendas in Statebuilding, Robert Egnell and Peter Haldén Part I: New Theoretical aPProaches to Statebuilding 2. Hybrid Statebuilding, Roger Mac Ginty 3. Against Endogeneity: The Systemic Preconditions of State-formation, Peter Haldén 4. Somalia: State ‘Failure’ and the Emergence of Hybrid Political Orders, Morten Boas 5. State Theory and Statebuilding, Lee Jones Part II: Revisiting Historical Cases of Statebuilding 6. The Improbably European State: Its Ideals Observed with Social Systems Theory, Gorm Harste 7. The Local Adaptation of Centralizing Politics: Hybrid Statebuilding in Sixteenth Century Sweden, Mats Hallenberg 8. Changing Perceptions of the Western Form of Government in Islamic Thought, Mohammad Fazlhashemi Part III: Strategic imperatives in Statebuilding 9. Exploring the Strategic logic of Withdrawal from Statebuilding Interventions: When is a State?, Jan Angstrom 10. In Our Image: Statebuilding Orthodoxy and the Afghan National Army, Adam Grissom 11. Winning legitimacy?: Counterinsurgency as the Military Approach to Statebuilding, Robert Egnell Conclusion 12. Towards New Agendas: Implications for the Theory and Practice of Statebuilding, Robert Egnell and Peter Haldén

About the Editors

Robert Egnell is Visiting Professor and Director of Teaching with the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University, USA. He is the author of Complex Peace Operations and Civil-Military Relations (Routledge 2009).

Peter Haldén is a researcher in the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, Sweden. He is the author of Stability without Statehood (Palgrave 2011).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Intervention and Statebuilding

The series publishes monographs and edited collections analysing a wide range of policy interventions associated with statebuilding. It asks broader questions about the dynamics, purposes and goals of this interventionist framework and assesses the impact of externally-guided policy-making.

Advisory Board: Berit Bliesemann de Guevara, Aberystwyth University; Morten Boas, NUPI; Adam Branch, San Diego State University; David Chandler, University of Westminster; Adrian Gallagher, University of Leeds; Luke Glanville, Australian National University; Shahar Hameiri, Murdoch University; John Heathershaw, University of Exeter; Eric Heinze, University of Oklahoma; Robert Murray, University of Alberta; Lee P. M. Seymour, University of Amsterdam; Timea Spitka, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights