This book argues that state-building, as it is currently conceived, does not work. In the 1990s, interventionist policies challenged the rights of individual states to self-governance. Today, non-western states are more likely to be feted by international institutions offering programmes of poverty-reduction, democratisation and good governance. States without the right of self-government will always lack legitimate authority. The international policy agenda focuses on bureaucratic mechanisms, which can only institutionalise divisions between the West and the non-West and are unable to overcome the social and political divisions of post-conflict states. Highlighting the dangers of current policy - including the redefinition of sovereignty, and the subsequent erosion of ties linking power and accountability.
David Chandler is Professor of International Relations, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster. He has written widely on democracy, human rights and international relations and is also the author of From Kosovo to Kabul: Human Rights and International Intervention (Pluto Press) and Constructing Global Civil Society: Morality and Power in International Relations (2004), editor of Rethinking Human Rights: Critical Approaches to International Politics (2002) and Peace without Politics: Ten Years of State-Building in Bosnia (2005), and co-editor of Global Civil Society: Contested Futures (2005).