‘Unsharing’ Sovereignty: g7+ and the Politics of International Statebuilding
International Affairs, 93:6 (November 2017) doi/10.1093/ia/iix188
21 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2017 Last revised: 25 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 23, 2017
In order to work, international peace - and statebuilding has had to reshape the traditional notion of state sovereignty and legitimize increasingly interventionist endeavours in terms of an attenuated ‘shared’ sovereignty. Over the last decade, however, governments in recipient states have pushed back, demanding a more active role in negotiating with their OECD counterparts. The g7+ group, an international organization of now 20 self-proclaimed fragile states, has evolved as a key actor from the global South dealing with international peace - and statebuilding. The group's approach to multilateral negotiations on development goals, and its creative use of donor concepts and approaches such as resilience, ownerships and measuring development progress, challenge the customary peace - and statebuilding practices. This challenge demonstrates that political elites in fragile states have started to self-confidentially occupy the arenas of statebuilding and development. This article argues that in so-doing the g7+ group establishes a post-liberal sovereignty claim that is based on two pillars: resilient nationhood, and selectivity in the application of global liberal principles. Since it relies on the development policy principle of national ownership, such post-liberal sovereignty is difficult to counter for actors subscribed to liberal norms. Effectively, sovereignty is ‘unshared’ again.
Keywords: international relations, state-building, sovereignty, international organization, fragility, g7+
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