The Resilient State: New Regulatory Modes in International Approaches to Statebuilding?

Third World Quarterly, January 2016, DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2015.1086637

Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No 2016/03

23 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2016

See all articles by Jan Pospisil

Jan Pospisil

Independent

Florian Kuehn

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Helmut Schmidt Universität

Date Written: February 4, 2016

Abstract

‘Resilience’ has quickly risen to prominence in international security and development circles. In recent years, it has found its way into political discourse on state-building and state fragility, triggering a vast but often conceptually indistinct examination of the subject. Given its meaning in policy publications and guidelines, ‘resilience’ tends to eschew a static conceptualization of statehood, turning instead to a more dynamic, complex and process-oriented rendering of state-society relations. This illustrates a conceptual shift from ‘failed states’ to ‘fragile states and situations’. It also transforms the ‘failed state’ as a mere threat perception – with ‘stability’ as its logical other – into ‘fragility’ as a particular form of social and political risk. This paper analyses the concepts in 43 policy papers focusing on the nexus of ‘resilience’ and ‘fragility’ in international statebuilding and assesses potential consequences. What does ‘resilience’ – as the opposite vision to ‘fragility’ – in fact mean? What is the practice derived from this chimerical state of states?

Keywords: fragile states, resilience, failed states, security, statebuilding policy, international development, international relations

Suggested Citation

Pospisil, Jan and Kuehn, Florian, The Resilient State: New Regulatory Modes in International Approaches to Statebuilding? (February 4, 2016). Third World Quarterly, January 2016, DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2015.1086637; Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No 2016/03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2727994

Jan Pospisil (Contact Author)

Independent

No Address Available

Florian Kuehn

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Helmut Schmidt Universität ( email )

Holstenhofweg 85
Hamburg, 22008
Germany

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