9 Pages


Hybrid governance in the Middle East and Africa
ByRuth Hanau Santini, Abel Polese, Rob Kevlihan

The ideal of state sovereignty is produced and reproduced by powerful agents and resisted by those at the margins of power. This criticism does not limit itself to the creation of the foundational 'myth of Westphalia', interpreting the treaties of Munster and Osnabruck as a defining critical juncture in the history of the Western world and as the genesis for modern international relations scholarship. The treaties were transformed into the alleged starting point of not only the territorial state system but also sovereignty as the basic organizing principle of states' coexistence. The authors argue that 'statehood', commonly popularized as the domestic side of sovereignty, has suffered a similar fate. Bartelson, for instance, argues that the endurance of the 'sovereign statehood' concept lies in its discreteness and indivisibility, which makes it parsimonious but decreasingly apt for emerging and evolving power configurations where sovereignty is scattered and fragmented across a plethora of actors and processes.