Handbook on Intervention and Statebuilding
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Handbook on Intervention and Statebuilding

Edited by Nicolas Lemay-Hébert

This innovative Handbook offers a new perspective on the cutting-edge conceptual advances that have shaped – and continue to shape – the field of intervention and statebuilding.
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Chapter 12: State formation in the context of hybrid political orders

Volker Boege


This chapter makes the case for perceiving state formation through the lens of hybridity. It starts from a critique of the discourse around fragile states, and the accompanying theory and practice of peacebuilding and statebuilding interventions. It argues that hybrid governance arrangements have to be taken into account when such interventions into societies affected by, under the threat of, or emerging from, violent conflict are contemplated. Consequently, the dominant concept of statebuilding is challenged as narrow and short-sighted, and the perspective is widened to encompass the complexities of state formation. State formation is presented as linked to, entangled with and emerging from the hybridity of political order and security governance. Accordingly, it is argued that political practice must overcome state-centric strategies and procedures, engaging instead with heterogeneity and working across difference.

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