Jekyll or Hyde: What is statebuilding creating? Evidence from the 'field'

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As a response to the dynamics of state formation, statebuilding has not created model states in the last twenty years as was intended. Instead, the states that have emerged around the world are heavily contextually contingent. This is despite international attempts to shape them according to a common pattern, dominated by neoliberal models of statehood. This raises the question of what kind of hybrid states are actually forming as a result of the encounter between international statebuilding and local political dynamics? This article argues that international statebuilding aims to create neoliberal states and treats local political dynamics as dysfunctional. Yet from a local perspective the limitations of the statebuilding model are also apparent, as is the need for any locally legitimate state to be grounded in its context. © 2014 © 2013 Centre of International Studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages19
JournalCambridge Review of International Affairs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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  • Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute


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