Chapter 7: State building, neocolonialism and neotrusteeships
Although the option of non-intervention or laissez-faire considered by some authors (Herbst 2004; Luttwak 1999) has found a certain resonance in the concept of a ‘fresh start’ based on social evolutionary theory (Doornbos 2003; Eisenstadt 1988; Mehler and Ribaux 2000; Raeymaekers 2005; van Hear 2005), it has not achieved widespread acceptance among academics or policy makers. The opinion of one of the pioneers of contemporary state building studies is more consensual in that regard. For Zartman, it is necessary to provide a large, informally representative forum, and if the contenders for power do not do so, an external force to guarantee security and free expression during the legitimization process may be required … In all three areas – power, participation, and resources – it is hard to get around the usefulness, if not the outright need, of external assistance (1995: 270–72). However, the exact nature of this external assistance is still widely debated. For some, the very act of intervening (and ‘saving lives’) legitimizes all forms of governance arrangements. For Michael Walzer for instance, occupation comes naturally with intervention: ‘if one accepts the risks of intervention in countries like these [Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, East Timor, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Kosovo], one had better accept also the risks of occupation’ (2007: 246). This line of thinking came to be mobilized by proponents of neotrusteeships in the late 1990s, and specifically informed the establishment of international administrations in contexts as different as Kosovo, Timor-Leste, and later in Iraq.
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