Semantics of Statebuilding

Language, meanings and sovereignty

Edited by Nicolas Lemay-Hébert, Nicholas Onuf, Vojin Rakić, Petar Bojanić

© 2014 – Routledge

200 pages

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Paperback: 9781138650251
pub: 2016-01-19
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About the Book

This volume examines international statebuilding in terms of language and meanings, rather than focusing narrowly on current policy practices.

After two decades of evolution towards more ‘integrated,’ ‘multi-faceted’ or, simply stated, more intrusive statebuilding and peacebuilding operations, a critical literature has slowly emerged on the economic, social and political impacts of these interventions. Scholars have started to analyse the ‘unintended consequences’ of peacebuilding missions, analysing all aspects of interventions.

Central to the book is the understanding that language is both the most important tool for building anything of social significance, and the primary repository of meanings in any social setting. Hence, this volume exemplifies how the multiple realities of state, state fragility and statebuilding are being conceptualised in mainstream literature, by highlighting the repercussions this conceptualisation has on ‘good practices’ for statebuilding. Drawing together leading scholars in the field, this project provides a meeting point between constructivism in international relations and the critical perspective on liberal peacebuilding, shedding new light on the commonly accepted meanings and concepts underlying the international (or world) order, as well as the semantics of contemporary statebuilding practices.

This book will be of much interest to students of statebuilding and intervention, war and conflict studies, security studies and international relations.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Disputing Weberian Semantics, Nicolas Lemay-Hébert, Nicholas Onuf and Vojin Rakić 2. World-Making, State-Building, Nicholas Onuf 3. Politics, Law, and the Sacred: A Conceptual Analysis, Friedrich Kratochwil 4. Kant’s Semantics of World (State) Making, Vojin Rakić 5. The semantics of early statebuilding: Why the Eurasian steppe has been overlooked, Iver B. Neumann 6. The Semantics of Statebuilding and Nationbuilding: Looking Beyond Neo-Weberian Approaches, Nicolas Lemay-Hébert 7. Transformative Statebuilding, Occupation, and International Law: Friends or Foes?, Jan Wouters and Kenneth Chan 8. The Semantics of ‘Crisis Management’: Simulation and EU Statebuilding in the Balkans, David Chandler 9. The Semantics of Contemporary Statebuilding: Kosovo, Timor-Leste, and the ‘Empty-Shell’ Approach, Nicolas Lemay-Hébert 10.The ‘Crisis of Capitalism’ and the State – More Powerful, Less Responsible, Invariably Legitimate, Albena Azmanova 11.The Neoliberal Biopolitics of Resilience and the Spectre of the Ecofascist State, Julian Reid

About the Editors

Nicolas Lemay-Hébert is a senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham.

Nicholas Onuf is Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Florida International University.

Vojin Rakic is Professor of Political Science at the University of Belgrade.

Petar Bojanic is a researcher at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, Belgrade.

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