Weapons of the Weak State: How Post-Conflict States Shape International Statebuilding

102 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2021 Last revised: 7 Jul 2021

See all articles by Susanna Campbell

Susanna Campbell

American University - School of International Service

Aila M. Matanock

Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

Date Written: July 6, 2021

Abstract

International Organizations (IOs), such as the United Nations (U.N.), engage in statebuilding in a range of post-conflict states. Statebuilding scholarship largely assumes these IO statebuilders are the dominant authority, at least temporarily, in seemingly ``weak" states. We argue, in contrast, that the post-conflict state retains authority over the IO statebuilding effort via incomplete contracts that give the post-conflict state the residual rights of control over the unnegotiated components of their statebuilding contracts with IOs. Statebuilding contracts provide procedural ``weapons of the weak state," enabling the post-conflict state to shape the content of the IO's mandate, where it intervenes, whom it hires, and when it exits. Using quantitative text analysis of U.N. Security-Council speeches, analysis of 35 U.N. interventions, and in-depth case studies, this article demonstrates the potential of statebuilding contracts to give post-conflict states power over IO statebuilders, with important implications for scholarship on statebuilding and global governance.

Keywords: International Organizations, Statebuilding, Contract Theory, Peacekeeping, United Nations, Post-Conflict Countries

Suggested Citation

Campbell, Susanna and Matanock, Aila M., Weapons of the Weak State: How Post-Conflict States Shape International Statebuilding (July 6, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3813907 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3813907

Susanna Campbell (Contact Author)

American University - School of International Service ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Aila M. Matanock

Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley ( email )

210 Social Sciences Building #1950
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ailamatanock.com

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
257
Abstract Views
1,070
Rank
221,472
PlumX Metrics