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Earl Conteh-Morgan


The end of the Twentieth Century is still characterized by geopolitical fluidity and socio-economic effervescence that tend to challenge the sovereignty of the developing state both from below and above. Violent ethnopolitical conflicts, separatist movements, rivalry for autonomy or political power, or territorial control, economic dislocation, among others, assail the integrity of the developing state, thereby impelling hegemonic actors (major states, Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs), and International Financial Institutions - IFIs) to intervene in order to: (1) uphold state integrity/sovereignty; (2) promote/enforce human rights practices; or (3) forestall/contain the negative and dysfunctional aspects of globalization processes in developing countries. The ever-increasing negative effects of transnational social forces tend to generate the pervasive force of a neo-liberal cosmopolitan moral view of international relations that increasingly sanctions both military and non-military interventions to maintain the existing structure of states and international society. The consequence is that states, in particular, developing states, are progressively losing their individual identities, rights, and obligations vis-à-vis civil society, in the wake of external impositions. In other words, the disintegrative effects of globalization as well as the dislocative aspects of weak developing economies are increasingly undermining the twin pillars of non-intervention and state sovereignty. Conflict/peacekeeping interventions and economic dislocation/external economic policy impositions now constitute the most formidable sources of assault on the decision-making autonomy, territorial integrity, and overall sovereignty of the developing state.

Essentially, the objective of this article is to utilize arguments and perspectives from neo-Gramscian, neo-Marxist, and World Systems analyses to underscore the fact that the developing state's sovereignty is being assailed by various transnational globalization processes such as: (1) the expansion and internationalization of peacekeeping/humanitarian efforts, or (2) newly emerging power relationships and structures that derive from crisis in politico-economic systems, especially in developing countries. The relationship between developing state sovereignty and national/global systemic forces could be understood more fully by examining the latter's impact on issues that generate external interventions. The focus of the analysis is first, on peacekeeping as a hegemonic function, especially the substantive shift from traditional intervention to new variation in peacekeeping. Second, an emphasis on how the changing economic and political paradigms of "good governance" over the decades contributes to the dialectic tensions between the transcendental/universalizing trend of economic globalization and the self-preservative/confirming interactions between state and society in developing countries.

The conceptualization of intervention in this analysis is broad and includes both coercive/military forms of intervention, and non-military/consensual forms of intervention. Interventions even when consensual often have serious human rights implications because of their tendency to subvert the managerial capacity of the state vis-à-vis the welfare of its citizens (Cox, 1981; Szentes 1988). An example is the coercive consensual relationship or consensual domination of the developing state by Great Powers and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in the area of economic policy. In post-Cold War international society in which military-strategic-defensive issues have rapidly given way to socio-economic globalization processes, non-military forms of intervention by Great Powers and IFIs on developing state sovereignty are increasingly becoming a moral problem as manifested in the reaction of large segments of developing state civil society to external economic impositions, such as International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditionalities.

In particular, the focus of this article will revolve around two dimensions of transnational/ global developments that threaten the managerial autonomy of the developing state. First is the changed nature of conflict in the international system in the form of a rise in internal, intrastate violence as opposed to inter-state conflicts which undermine the sovereignty of the state and produce external peacekeeping interventions. Second, is the economic dislocative effects of rapid globalization processes and deepening market forces that impel the intervention of IFIs in developing state economies, thereby destabilizing the "social contract" between state and citizens. In other words, to what extent do violent conflicts within developing states and interventions by external actors undermine the national sovereignty of the state? Or to what extent do IMF/World Bank policy impositions affect the capacity of the state to provide for the socio-economic welfare of its citizens? The issues of intra-state conflict/intervention and economic impositions will be used as a body of empirical evidence to illustrate the primary features of a declining developing state sovereignty, and its implications for human rights practice.

Transnational Forces and the State: An Overview

There are three dimensions relevant to the analysis of socio political and economic developments at the global level that adversely affect the developing state's sovereignty. The first is the practical-conjunctural level viewed in terms of intentional human agency (Robinson, 1996; Wallerstein, 1970). At this level, it is important to draw the distinction between means (which are policies) and ends (which are interests), and to recognize the tactical nature of many disputes related to policymaking between the developing state and external actors over the most effective means of achieving ends. The second dimension is the underlying global structure in which states and groups engage with the broader world system. Analysis at this level is structural analysis. Structure shapes and conditions events and activities at the state level, often apart from intentionality. The third dimension refers to processes in international society which straddle both the practical-conjunctural and the underlying global structure. Through its interconnectedness with the two, it enables analysts to identify mechanisms that monitor functionalist teleology.

Institutionalization is an integral aspect of the Gramscian notion of hegemony because institutions (whether political-military, or socio-economic) provide the systemic legitimacy for dealing with conflicts either coercively or through peaceful means (Gramsci, 1971). The underlying structure of interstate relations intrinsically involves an enforcement potential under the control of the powerful nations. The consequence is two distinct forms of Great Power-weak state relations: coercive and consensual. In the latter sense, it is the condition whereby strong states exercise leadership over weak states by gaining their perennial consent. To a large extent the use of force is obviated to the point that the developing state submits to the prevailing power relations. Continuous submission is enhanced by the fact that the dominant states are willing to make concessions, implement policy adjustments, that from time to time help to alleviate the politico-economic burdens of the weak states. Institutions provide the legitimacy of power relations, articulate the hegemonic mission of the powerful, and appeal for the cooperation of the weak. For example, images of proper global economic relations have been institutionalized and universalized by institutions like the IMF, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), World Trade Organization (WTO), and the World Bank, among others. Similarly, institutional provision for dealing with intractable and extensive conflict situations is located within the jurisdiction of the United Nations Security Council, and more recently within regional security organizations like NATO and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Developments are underway to make regional organizations like the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Organization of American States (OAS), and so on, more responsive to peacekeeping interventions. Thus hegemony which comprises of both coercive and consensual relations help to cement and legitimize, and internationalize the dominant moral and cultural values, and disseminate the worldview of the dominant states. The hegemonic functions of the Great Powers, with the "consent" of the weak states create functional unity in a system of diversity.

To a large extent, then, subordinate states either give "unwilling consent" or "voluntary consent" to the social logic imposed on specific issues by the strong states. Accordingly, social forces that commence within the powerful states soon spillover into weak states, and the policy implications or adaptive mechanisms that accompany them imposed upon or integrated into the political economy of these weak states. The socio-political developments produced by the dynamics of the economic system in turn generate institutions and policy changes that determine world orders (Colclough, & Manor, 1991; United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), 1995; Toulmin, 1992). Stated differently, economic crises and political transformations generate new policy imperatives and/or social forces, which in turn bring about changes in the structure of states and their relationship with civil society. For example, the transnational social forces unleashed by both the Cold War competition and post-Cold War era influence state structures in both the core and periphery. In other words, changes in systemic polarity spawn forces that influence state structures, underscoring the fact that state structures are largely a reflection of a particular structure of world order and forces in existence.

A world hegemony in this sense is thus the expansive effects of the individual and collective social forces of the dominant advanced industrial states. The IFIs, the culture, the technology, and other entities associated with this collective hegemony constitute guidelines for development models in developing states. The dominant effects of such a collective hegemonic system also becomes a demonstration effect which could have a profound effect on the lives of groups in poor countries. In his analysis of world hegemony, Robert Cox makes reference to the effect hegemony has on peripheral states as a passive revolution:

A world hegemony is thus in its beginnings an outward expansion of the internal (national) hegemony established by a dominant social class. The economic and social institutions, the culture, the technology associated with this national hegemony become patterns for emulation abroad. Such as expansive hegemony impinges on the more peripheral countries as a passive revolution. These countries have not undergone the same thorough social revolution, nor have their economies developed in the same way, but they try to incorporate elements from the hegemonic model with disturbing old power structures....In the world hegemonic model, hegemony is more intense and consistent at the core and more laden with contradictions at the periphery (Cox, 1996:137).

The near policy convergence among advanced industrial countries in this post-Cold War era, unifies socio-economic and political structures of this collective hegemony into a system of universal norms, institutions, and mechanisms which spell out general rules of national and international behavior for states and for those national actors whose activities transcend national boundaries. These are rules, which in short, further institutionalize dominant modes of sociopolitical and economic interactions.

However, the pervasive effects of core collective hegemony subvert the developing state's monopoly of legitimate and autonomous decision-making within its own territory. The rules that core states have developed, upheld, and institutionalized help to maintain and deepen the marginalization of the developing state. Because these norms and rules (both international law and less formal rules) are largely handed down to them, it means the developing states undergo a process of socialization involving both "coerced consent" and voluntary internalization. States that deliberately challenge these transnational interstate rules are viewed as a threat to world order and its juridical foundation and could be labeled pariahs, rogues, or outlaws and face politico-economic sanctions from other states and dominant non-state actors (Armstrong, 1993; Beckman, 1992).

The developing state shares but "unwillingly" in some developments that affect national political economies, often unwilling to reverse asymmetrical relationships with developed countries, or outrightly reject adverse policy impositions from supranational institutions. For example, the developing states of the international system attempted to reconstruct the international system in the mid 1970s New International Economic Order (NIEO) demands, but because of their weakness failed. In other words, fundamental transformation can only occur in international systems through a process by which normative change in states' relations is transmitted to the international stage by powerful states or some hegemon, be it a military, economic, political, or cultural hegemon. Because of powerful states and IFIs, for example, international systemic structures are not immutable, but rather the very structures are dependent for their modification or reproduction on the practices and changing institutions of these key actors. Fundamental change in the international system occurs when principal actors, through changes in their interests, power or practices, change the rules and norms that underlie international relations. In essence, changes in the practice of these hegemonic international actors depend on changes in the practices of their key domestic actors--individuals, power elite, and civil society in general (Gill, 1995; Ruggie, 1982). Thus profound developments in international relations can occur when beliefs and identities of key domestic entities in advanced industrial countries are altered thereby also altering the norms and rules that are constitutive of international relations, often quite independent of both domestic and international actors of weak states. For example, the end of the Cold War accelerated by changes (perestroika, glasnost) in the Soviet Union, changed the nature, scope, and intensity of violent conflict in many developing states, spawned new ones as well; and ushered in a period of democratization urged on the developing states by the powerful actors.

Impelled by its marginal status in the international system, the developing world has often challenged Western European concepts of international law and human rights (Lissitzyn, 1963). International law to these developing states was originally created to protect and reflect the class and state interests of the former colonial masters. It contains little or no substantive content of equity and justice because when extended to Asia, Africa, or Latin-America, it was frequently used as an instrument for the protection of the private economic interests of the powerful Western states. Key international institutions (the IMF, World Bank, or WTO), a reflection of international law, are the glue for safeguarding the global politico-economic structure that ensures the dominance of the advanced industrial states. In spite of the differences in interests, culture, and levels of education among these developing states, they nonetheless all exhibit, invariably, tendencies of resentment toward international law. The underlying reasons for such resentment being past foreign domination, and attitudes of superiority by the Western countries, their dependent development status and general adverse experiences within the international legal framework of the Westphalian state system (Oppenheim, 1955; Brierly, 1963). Nonetheless, in varying degrees, they participate in the development and codification of international law, they resort to its norms in disputes with other states, and in deliberations in international organizations, but many have equally complained about the overwhelming dominance of advanced industrial states in key international organizations like the IMF and the World Bank.

Because of the perceptible current of discontent expressed by developing states about traditional international law, many observers often advocate the further development of international law so that it would play a more meaningful role in North-South relations. The realization that international law needs to be further developed, coupled with the constant concessions made by the North towards the South is a realization that the traditional norms of international law do not necessarily serve the needs and aspirations of the developing states. In particular, some of the requirements of the international institutions that reinforce the traditional norms of international law are often too painful when applied to developing societies.

On a more general level, international law either intentionally or by accident reinforced an international division of labor. In the process of global capital accumulation that accompanied the modern world system, benefits accrued unequally among nations creating a North-South gap in power, wealth, and prestige (Wallerstein, 1970; Amin, 1974; Sunkel, & Fuenzalida, 1979). The ensuing process of uneven development and asymmetry has proved to be a constraint to the decisional latitude of the developing state. The periphery, satellite, or underdeveloped states have been superimposed upon, been penetrated and influenced, balkanized, and even imposed upon in the capitalist process of surplus extraction from the South to the North within a single global economy. Consequently, systemic struggles over the appropriation of wealth take place between and within nations with the developing states at the poor receiving end of an asymmetric relationship. Changes in North-South relations automatically generate changes in national political economies of the South. In particular, globalization processes as aspects of a new phase of capitalism, are transforming, rather than merely having a marginal effect on, all political ingredients in capitalist relations between North and South. The consequence is a seeming tradeoff between equality/welfare and efficiency/privatization. The transnationalization of the state produced intensive and extensive internationalization embedded in globalization processes, networks, and discourses is threatening the sovereign state by making it near impossible for the state to perform its socio-economic and welfare functions towards civil society. A further deepening and intensification of globalization processes could make the developing state meaningless or obsolete (O'Brien, 1992; Weber, 1995; Strange, 1996; Friedman, 1992).

In the developing state, state sovereignty, and the authority and legitimacy that go with it are not always by the overwhelming majority of individuals and non-state collectivities. The sovereignty principle and even its practice seems fated to be constrained and undermined at the international level, and it is difficult to see how the weak developing state will regain what it has lost. Although sovereign authority is not the same as the capacity to control everything, it is nonetheless challenged in many parts of the world. Most, if not all, of contemporary national struggles are struggles in which groups (guerilla forces or ethnic insurgency) are pitted against the state because of the desire to ensure group security or self-actualization. The clear challenge to the state that is revealed by such struggles is, perhaps, the final and most convincing evidence that the force of globalization coupled with the loosening of hegemonic (spheres of influence) ties between great and small states is a significant factor in rendering the state unacceptable or an obstacle to many groups. As group frustration intensifies it escalates to violent outbursts which in some cases produce external intervention, and a further diminution of state sovereignty assailed from both within and without. Peacekeeping interventions, accordingly develop within the context of transnational political processes and an extended view of the nation state which transcends territorial integrity and the sanctity of the doctrine of state sovereignty.

Conflicts and Peacemaking Interventions

While traditional international relations characterizes the international system as one of anarchy, at the same time classical conceptions of state structure tend to assume a territory comprised of people, sovereignty, and an effective government that forestalls domestic anarchy or state collapse (Bull, 1984; Waltz, 1979). Yet, the experience of the post-Cold War era, in particular, is characterized by centrifugal forces of violent ethnonationalism related to normative concerns of human rights and democratization that in turn spawn responses (for example peacekeeping interventions) from the international system. These interventions reflect a shift away from a strict adherence to the doctrine of state sovereignty and the principle of non-intervention. The widening scope and intensity of violent conflicts that produce Great Power and United Nations (UN) sanctioned interventions in civil wars underscore the fact that principles, doctrines, and practices institutionalized through constant application, may be modified, violated, or changed in response to systemic disequilibrium. Such changes are done in response to the increased focus on the international or national protection of human rights: an idea that gained greater concern after 1945. Besides, such ideational developments that are transformed into new practices that violate existing modus operandi may originate from purely internal developments (for example, the clamor for democratization that produces violent civil conflicts), or from external developments and changing conceptions of policy such as the indexing of democratization to IMF conditionalities. Interventions whether coercive or non-coercive are undertaken by the key actors as part of the twin functions of "socialization" and "homogenization" of international society.

Ideational change and international practice regarding intervention to protect human rights were spawned by the end of the Cold War and its turbulence. Internally, developing state sovereignty is assailed by ethnopolitical and other challenges to the state, and externally, as a response to intense civil strife that result in genocide and massive suffering. The Great Powers under the umbrella of the UN have now extended their peacekeeping operations to include interventions in civil wars. The end of great-power ideological rivalry has produced unity in the pursuit of systemic stability and greater international cooperation under the auspices of the UN and other international mechanisms. The outcome is greater international social control by Great Powers and the UN Security Council over developing states. A critical element in Gramscian thought is the idea of social control which takes place on two levels: in civil society and through the state (political society) (Robinson, 1996; Aguelli, & Murphy, 1988). Where entities like Yugoslavia, Somalia, Angola, Rwanda, and so on, have at some point lost social control through the state (political society), a rejuvenated and ascendant Security Council, and a dominant rich North in cooperation exercise their hegemonic functions by arresting total state disintegration through peacekeeping interventions.

Internally, the state is being challenged by what D. Horowitz (1985) has described as the "powerful, permeative, passionate, and pervasive," (Levinson, 1993:4) force of ethnonationalism. The constant struggle for power and resources in many resource-starved nations has produced a situation in which ethnic groups have resorted to pressure politics and coalition-building as a means of gaining political and economic power. Intractable and protracted conflicts have an especially destabilizing effect on the nation-state. While conflict resolution efforts do sometimes produce formal accords they rarely yield long-term peace and harmony. The duration, intensity, and scope of these violent conflicts have led to near-state collapse, and some state failures. These consequences stem first from the passionate, primordial, and permeative aspects of ethnic solidarity--which are in turn related to perceived high stakes in civil wars--the survival of a group, domination of one ethnic group by another, or their domination by the other group.

The primordial sentiments and ethnopolitical factors involved in multiethnic societies extend the violent conflicts beyond the obvious struggle for political and economic control to powerful xenophobic and ethnocentric expressions of hate. The consequence is that such conflicts become especially impervious to rational resolution. Thus, while assailed internally by these centrifugal ethno rigidities, the international (via the UN) response has been intervention to maintain the structure of the state system. In most situations, international organizations and key state actors have to contend with the state itself, which in most situations is also a party to the dispute or has a stake in the victory of one group at the expense of another group. External peacekeeping intervention forces have at times had to carry out peace enforcement (doing battle if necessary with the state or rebels) functions in their efforts to carry out their rescue and humanitarian functions.

The UN Security Council in cooperation with the Great Powers, and regional organizations have set the precedent of using accumulated physical power for the performance of a world system-maintenance function that often challenges the sovereignty of the nation in which it is applied. Since the early 1990s, optimism for the role of Security Council backed use of force has encouraged other states (and regional organizations) to use the same method. In 1992 former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali deliberately sought to expand the peace enforcement powers of the UN Security Council. In Agenda for Peace in 1992 he recommended authorization of the use of force (Boutros-Ghali, 1992). These developments of using the UN "fig leaf" to conduct military interventions even in civil wars are impelled by public pressure amplified by media effects in responding to grave violations of human rights in internal armed conflicts: former Yugoslavia, Haiti, Liberia, Somalia, and so on. Public outrage often turns into political pressure on both Great Powers and the UN to intervene in order to halt humans rights violations whether by the state or non-state aggressors.

With the end of the Cold War and the widening scope of violent intrastate conflicts, rationalization of the use of intervention in internal matters in contravention of the principle of non-intervention has developed as a trend in North-South relations. It is now rationalized that although Article 2(7) of the UN charter firmly endorses the principle of non-intervention, violent intrastate conflicts constitute "a threat to international peace and security" under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and therefore justifies UN Security Council use of force. Thus, the Security Council has often exercised a wide mandate in the determination of the existence of a threat to or breach of international peace, which tends to undermine the sovereign integrity of the state.

In particular, the principle of non-intervention in internal affairs appears to have been modified, thereby legitimizing UN/Great Power intervention for humanitarian purposes in conflicts of an essentially domestic nature (Harris, 1991). Resolution 688, for example, was adopted on 5 April 1991 in connection with Iraq's suppression of Kurdish civilians following the Kurdish rebellion of March 1991 after Iraq's defeat at the hand of the Gulf War coalition. For Iraq, the Resolution itself amounted to a "flagrant, illegitimate intervention in Iraq's internal affairs and a violation of Article 2 of the Charter." Resolution 688, was the first Security Council Resolution to determine the existence of a threat to international peace and security as a result of a state's violation of its citizens human rights. The atrocities committed by Idi Amin of Uganda, or Pol Pot of Cambodia, did not elicit such a determination, response, or use of force by either the UN or the powerful states.

The internecine and genocidal character of the Yugoslavian conflict produced Resolution 713 of 25 September 1991 which imposed an embargo on the entire region, and later Resolution 757 of 30 May 1992 imposing comprehensive economic sanctions on Serbia and Montenegro. Both Resolutions transformed the Yugoslavian domestic conflict into an international one (United Nations, 1995). By 1992 external powers had intervened militarily in the civil war.

State failure or near-state collapse characterized by a total absence of state sovereignty has in the post-Cold War era generated UN/Great Power intervention in the developing state. In such cases, Somalia being a perfect example, the total absence of legitimate state authority did not raise problems of state sovereignty and domestic jurisdiction. Moreover, the precedent of intervention in domestic crisis had already been set in the case of Iraq and the Kurds and in the former Yugoslavia. Thus when the Security Council first imposed the mandatory arms embargo under Chapter VII (Resolution 733), there was little disagreement among Security Council member states of the principle of non-intervention.

UN/Great Power intervention in a developing state can be precipitated if a "unique and exceptional circumstance" is recognized. For example, the Security Council in 1993 determined that the situation in Haiti threatened international peace and security. Accordingly, in Resolution 841 of 16 June 1993 an embargo was imposed on trade with Haiti. The unique and exceptional circumstances in Haiti were caused by the following factors: a January 24, 2001 coup d'état that forced into exile the legitimate government of President Jean-Betrand Aristide; an environment of fear, persecution, and economic dislocation that threatened to generate numerous refugees to neighboring countries; the request for a UN trade embargo by the legitimate government of Haiti; and the fact that an Organization of American States (OAS) embargo was previously in existence and only required to be universalized and further mandated by a Security Council sanction. Resolution 841 was thus precipitated by a coup d'état and thus marked a change in Security Council practice in the area of intervention in domestic affairs, as the Council had never before been directly involved in restoring an ousted regime in the aftermath of a coup d'état in a sovereign state, an issue previously considered purely internal in character. Although the Security Council President announced that the Resolution should not be regarded as constituting a precedent, it nevertheless marked a change in Security Council practice.

In February 1998, and following the post-Cold War precedent of intervention to prevent massive human rights violations and to restore democracy, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Monitoring Group, known as ECOMOG, used its forces dominated largely by Nigerian soldiers to oust the military junta in neighboring Sierra Leone that in May 1997 had ousted a democratically elected government. ECOMOG intervened to restore the ousted regime with the full support of the Organization of African Unity, and the United Nations Security Council. In other words, domestic instability, massive atrocities, and the maintenance of democracy are increasingly becoming the concern of external actors, and no longer just the exclusive preserve of internal sovereignty and the principle of non-intervention in domestic affairs. Between 1990 until the creation of a stable environment in Liberia in 1997, ECOMOG forces had intervened to stop the carnage and ethnic bloodletting that pitted Gio/Mano ethnic groups on the one hand, and Krahn/Mandingo groups on the other (Magyar, & Conteh-Morgan, 1998).

Following the Gulf War, the objectives of forced intervention were initially limited to humanitarian purposes, but have gradually expanded in response to changing military needs in the conflicts concerned. The new resolutions spawned by the growing intensity of new conflict situations have implications for state sovereignty. But following the end of the Cold War, Security Council authorization of the use of force by states was introduced primarily for humanitarian purposes. Often the victim of the armed conflict was not a sovereign state, but civilians within the territory of a single state. Accordingly, the objective of the use of force in Resolution 770 of August 13 concerning the Bosnian conflict was: to "facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance" in order to guarantee the population's minimum humanitarian needs (United Nations, 1992). Similarly, Resolution 794 (3 December 1992) regarding Somalia and Resolution 929 (22 June 1994) in Rwanda, and in the case of Haiti (Resolution 940 of 31 July 1994) humanitarian needs were one reason for UN intervention. Despite initial US reluctance to intervene in 1992, the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Haiti and the rapid increase in refugees finally impelled the UN to act. President Bill Clinton demanded that the military leadership in Haiti yield power immediately, and emphasized his resolve: "when firm brutality occurs close to our shores, it affects our national interests. And we have a responsibility to act" (Clinton, 1993). Since the Korean War, virtually all military operations based on Security Council authorized use of force have been led and dominated by Great Powers, especially the US forces. Some critics argue that Security Council authorization has only served as an instrument to perform a systems maintenance function to the benefit of Great-Power national interests. However, Security Council authorized use of force cannot work effectively without the political leadership of the Great Powers and the participation of their overwhelming military power. While in conflict with state sovereignty, intervention nonetheless helps to preserve the state and stop genocidal massacres and the blatant violation of human rights practices.

However, in the domain of peacekeeping, because of post-Cold War political effervescence manifested in civil strife and various forms of ethnopolitical violence, the outcome has been not a shared conceptual and implementational consensus, but to a multiplicity of suggestion for effective peacekeeping. The result, it might be said, is that while the scope of peacekeeping has increased, methods for its application is varying from region to region, and from entity to entity.

At the microlevel, the socio-economic and political patterns have been forged by a tendency on the part of peoples (ethnic, religious, and regional groupings) to resort to self-help in the attempt to guarantee their security (Horowitz, 1994; Gurr, 1993). The consequence is a gradual attack on the integrity of the state and a subversion of the national integration process. The idea of self-help results in the inability of the state and sub-entities to confront and solve big problems of collective political violence. The outcome is peacekeeping or humanitarian intervention to stop ethnic bloodletting, to put collapsing states together again, or to feed refugees and victims of starvation. Accordingly, the resulting sense that people have is that it is the responsibility of the UN and industrialized countries to prevent massive suffering, carnage, and uncontrollable escalation of conflicts. In other words, while the notion of state sovereignty is the underlying principle of socio-economic and political interactions in the global system, it is at the same time threatened by the fear of insecurity, the increase in world order problems associated with inter-ethnic conflicts and other forms of political violence. The empirical statehood of developing nations is even more fragile in the post-Cold War era than ever before (Jackson and Rosberg, 1982).

Civil wars and their spillover effects, refugeeism, the increase in actual and potential conflict situations, are but a few of the transnationalizing issues that seem to be rendering traditional peacekeeping methods rather inadequate, and prompting the adoption of new and perhaps questionable peacekeeping efforts. Among the broad consequences of challenges to global stability, three possibilities seem especially worthy of note: (1) the unity, authority, and legitimacy of many nation states may be forced to disintegrate under the mounting weight of centrifugal forces of ethnicity and nationalism, and further putting into question traditional methods of peacekeeping; (2) the distinction between civil and international conflict related issues may become increasingly obscure; and (3) the intersection of domestic problems of social heterogeneity and global interdependence issues may have become inextricably woven into a worldwide international security problem manifested largely in ethnic bloodletting, refugee creation, starvation, and the outbreak of deadly diseases in many countries.

It is no surprise that with the end of the Cold War, the UN has launched nearly double the peacekeeping missions that it had in its roughly forty years of existence. The expansion of peacekeeping efforts is reflected in the Security Council peacekeeping resolutions adopted, in the UN active involvement in preventive diplomacy, and in the increasing involvement of regional and subregional organizations in active peacekeeping. Along with this expansion of peacekeeping activities, the concept and practice of peacekeeping seems to be undergoing a paradigm shift or adaptive competence from peacekeeping (the deployment of military forces to forestall the escalation of a dispute) to preventive diplomacy (efforts made to abort disputes before they widen and intensify) to peacemaking (proactive intervention to encourage warring parties settle their dispute) to peace enforcement (the mandate to "impose" a ceasefire, or do battle with violators if need be) to peacebuilding (assist in reconstruction efforts after conflict resolution in order to prevent a fresh eruption of the conflict). Instances have occurred in this post-Cold War turbulence, where the bloodletting, carnage, or starvation were such that peace enforcement has been encouraged. Somalia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone (the ECOMOG intervention), and Bosnia, among others are cases in point.

External Economic Interventions and State Crisis

While UN Security Council-sponsored interventions tend to protect the human rights of citizens in volatile and explosive states, external economic policy impositions (interventions) by IFIs are limiting to a large extent, the sovereign exercise of certain rights and duties by the developing state in relation to its citizens. Intervention in the form of globalization imperatives (in particular Structural Adjustment Policies-SAPs) undermine the ability of the developing state to manage, accumulate, and redistribute economic resources within its own territory (Beckman, 1994). Accordingly, this may be limiting the developing state's capacity to achieve national political integration among its varied ethnocommunal groups, as well as its legitimacy vis-à-vis civil society in general.

Great Power and IFI intervention in the developing state started with the economic collapse experienced during the late 1970s and early 1980s triggered by: sharp price fluctuations on the raw materials market, the adverse terms of trade on exports as a result of these downward fluctuations, the oil shocks that produced a downward spiral in the payments position of these developing states thereby directly generating the debt crisis of the 1980s.

The combination of these deep-seated domestic problems and the recessionary international economic environment adversely affected the sustainability of the "social contract" and the various neopatrimonial alliances and networks built around it to guarantee political stability. As the developing state became increasingly distressed by economic crisis, the legitimacy of the state and the model of nation-building on which it was based, was called into question by both civil society and international society. Thus, in order to maintain stability in developing states and arrest the deepening crisis in economic management, the key state actors and IFIs inaugurated a shift from welfarist principles based on Keynesianism to neo-liberal principles that placed greater emphasis on market forces and the struggle against inflation (Vilas, 1996). This shift translated into a de-emphasis on the Keynesian goal of full employment and the role of the state in the economy. Coupled with this shift to neo-liberalism in economic policymaking, was the effect of the process of economic globalization which impacted greatly the management of national economic policies all over the wold. For example, the deregulation of financial markets from the late 1970s in powerful states meant that even they started to lose control over their own national economic policies.

Neoliberalism eventually became an instrument for maintaining world order under the direction of the IMF, World Bank, and the Group of Seven (G7) powers. The catalyst for IMF imposition of neoliberal ideas into the developing state came with the debt crisis of the 1980s. Further resources to combat severe payments problems, budgetary, inflationary, and debt servicing burdens was made conditional on the adoption of SAPs. They entailed a strict application of massive and repeated currency devaluations, exchange and interest rate liberalization, public enterprise privatization, the withdrawal of all subsidies, and the abolition of state marketing boards, among others. Eventually SAPs resulted in massive unemployment as large numbers of public sector employees were laid off. Increasing donor (IMF, World Bank, G-7) intervention in national economies meant a generalized curb on developing state intervention in economic processes.

The economic austerity inherent in and produced by SAPs generated economic deprivation in both the poor and middle class alike. SAPs also complicated the deepening social crisis in developing states, crisis which escalated into social unrest, social fragmentation and greater inequality. In political terms, SAPs were often not the result of domestic consultation and popular approval, but were often the result of secret negotiations between external actors and unwilling state actors. Thus, developing state actors became increasingly accountable to powerful state and non-state donors rather than to their own citizens. The minimal human rights of citizens were further diminished when local opposition to the SAPs was often brutally repressed or stifled. Neoliberal ideas gradually became involved in political debates about poverty, gender, the environment, governance, and even human rights. In the process, the developing state is increasingly losing its decision-making autonomy to the hegemonic functions of powerful external actors.

As crisis deepened in the developing state, so did the "managerial dilemma" or "the fiscal crisis of the state" intensify (O'Connor, 1973; Barnet, & Muller, 1974). These were directly passed on to ordinary citizens in the form of severe economic deprivations. The state has thus abandoned its welfare function to supranational institutions, in particular the IMF and the World Bank. In other words, neoliberal internationalism is being progressively manifested in what Gill and Law (1989) refer to as the imposition of the "structural power" of transnational capital over the "direct power" of the state. In particular, images or intersubjective agreements of what constitute proper global economic relations are further reinforced by these transnational institutions as part of the dominance of the strong over the weak.

Dilemmas Posed by Economic Interventions

The violence (riots in Venezuela, Egypt, Nigeria, or Indonesia) spawned by the imposition of SAPs constitute human rights violations because of the coercion needed to enforce them, and also because of the economic deprivations they produce among groups in society. The imposition of SAPs also constitute paternalism: deciding for the developing state what will be the most efficient way to manage its economy and govern its society. In the end, since Western paternalism ends up imposing its will on an often reluctant state leadership, the outcome in the relationship is one of consensual domination.

Democratization and its accompanying economic liberalization seems to undermine the 20th Century ethos of the state as responsible for a substantial portion of the economic well?being of its citizens. The state, in other words, bears responsibility for functions ranging from the maintenance of domestic tranquility and protection of the territory against external attacks to contributions to the material security of the members of society. The developing state, in particular, came into being when the twentieth?century notion of the welfare state was already the modus operandi of many states in the international system. Many states in this regard strive to achieve a guaranteed minimum through the dominant role played by the public sector and manifested in government subsidies on education, health, food, housing, and other sectors. In other words, many developing states aim at a greater availability of collective and distributional goods and institute policies directed at greater social and economic equality.

Democratization involves the gradual establishment of values such as respect for civil rights and political liberties, as well as greater citizen participation in the politics of society. In general, however, such political liberalization devoid of societal cohesion and a high level of economic development is often plagued by electoral conflict and intense political rivalry. Besides, the indexing of economic liberalization to political liberalization may be acting as a stumbling block to the realization of political stability in many developing countries (Gibbon, Bangura, & Ofstad, 1992). The immediate reactions to economic austerity measures inherent in economic liberalization policies have been varied but destabilizing. Many take the form of spontaneous uprising against the government in response to the sudden experience or fear of loss of economic privileges. In countries where this has occurred it is often the military that is used to coerce the people back into peaceful behavior. The use of the military to put down riots is counterproductive of young experiments in political liberalization.

The developmental success of advanced industrial countries is generally a strong argument that economic liberalization and political liberalization are interconnected and mutually supportive processes (World Bank, 1991). However, evidence from developing countries suggests that there is no consensus as to the real dynamics between them. To a large extent, the general relationship between the two so far, is one of a dialectical tension with economic liberalization acting as a constraint on political liberalization because of the limits it can put on the extent of political reforms. The consequence of the dialectical tension between the two is an oscillation between progress and regress within a context of lingering authoritarianism, caution, and control.

The interaction of economic liberalization and political liberalization present serious dilemmas for developing states because of their contradictory consequences. In Africa, for example, economic liberalization in the form of structural adjustment measures decreases the role of the state in the economy thereby causing adverse effects on poorer classes (Olukoshi, 1996). The government is often confronted with the choice of when, and how much, to liberalize the economy, or how to prioritize the various adjustment programs that constitute economic liberalization and reform. Often, the state, concerned about the negative consequences of economic liberalization, can deliberately stall in its implementation of the required measures. The state is thus forced to waver between strict state control and restricted elections. In the final analysis, political liberalization can act as a brake on economic liberalization, and the latter can in turn severely undermine democratization. The fear of political instabilities caused by severe distributional inequities often keep the state heavily involved in the economy. After all, the so?called East Asian economic miracles of the 1980s and early 90s are a result of effective state intervention in stimulating the export?led sectors of those countries.

Developing state governments operating in a context of fragile legitimacy and a legacy of military intervention in politics are often faced with the dilemma of whether to shield the military or other groups from the austerity measures inherent in structural adjustments. If certain groups are privileged by economic liberalization the government is invariably confronted by resistance from the economically deprived and politically excluded groups in society whose interest are not protected by the new political economy. Generally political liberalization without visible economic improvements is likely to cause enough deprivation that would delegitimize the incumbent regime, awaken nostalgia for a more authoritarian regime, intensify ethnic divisions, or instigate a military intervention in politics (Deng, Kostner, & Young, 1990). This lack of sustained political confidence in incumbent regimes is to some extent responsible for the shifting economic development strategies in many developing countries. For example, many African governments have shifted from import substitution industrialization to what is now referred to as a free-market development strategy.

Democratization and it's accompanying economic liberalization policies raise serious questions related to social justice in developing societies. The institutional structures that underlie the markets and economic behavior in many developing states are not adequately developed to integrate the bulk of the population into meaningful and viable political and economic existence. The link between economic and political liberalization is not a compatible one and thus works against the effective protection of the lower classes and the disadvantaged. In others words, despite the general emphasis on privatization and reduced government spending, the establishment of sensible social welfare systems is still a preserve of the state. Redistributive policies do not always promote efficiency and sustained economic growth. In some countries, the politically dominant segments of society (industrialists, top civil servants, the military, and the middle class) have been the beneficiaries of economic growth and liberalization. Thus, instead of liberalization and the probable economic growth diminishing the overt inequalities and divisive elitism in such countries, it has instead entrenched the power and position, and preserved the elitist traditions of these dominant groups. The further consequence is the increase in widespread corruption, economic distortion, and authoritarian tendencies. Such a situation results in the further alienation and marginalization of the lower classes, and the utter failure of economic and political liberalization programs.

While effective economic liberalization may be a necessary aspect of viable democratic reform, it is nonetheless a sacrificial and prolonged process. Besides, the effectiveness and viability of structural adjustment programs are called into question when the state is not inclined to an "equitable" distribution of the gains from market reform. The widespread deprivation caused by adjustment programs, the vulnerable state of markets, and the ill-developed institutional infrastructure in many African countries, for example, suggest that there is a need for a "strong" state to ensure basic human needs, and to put in place the necessary structures for a functioning market economy (Francis, 1995). A decrease in glaring economic disparities through socio?economic inclusion of all classes and segments of society diminishes the probability of intergroup conflicts or violent challenges against the state. In the final analysis, formidable ethical questions still remain unanswered where economic and political liberalization are concerned. Does the goal of establishing a market economy based on long?term viability and sustained economic growth justify the initial negative social consequences of liberalization programs? How do we in fact know that such liberalization programs will ever work in many developing states where the institutional structures and societal values may be quite at odds with the Westphalian, European legal-political order? What is the most effective way to ensure an "acceptable" and less strenuous political, social, and economic impact of economic liberalization policies for all segments of society?

With the end of the Cold War, the relationship between people's rights (human rights) and state rights (sovereign rights) became one of the key issues within states and in world politics. For example the argument over whether state sovereignty is absolute or dependent on popular consent was reflected in the debate over the occupation of Haiti by the U.S. in 1994 in order to reinstall the elected government of President Jean?Bertrand Aristide, which had been overthrown by a military coup. In terms of Great-Power relations with weak states, it has now become generally acceptable in international politics for donors to impose foreign aid conditions on recipient states. Such impositions are considered legitimate and outside the bounds of blatant interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. Even economic and political agreements between the World Bank and the IMF are considered legitimate because they are based on the state's consent, and on negotiations. However, in the context of the state's sovereignty versus popular sovereignty, does the state have the right to negotiate and agree on adjustment policies that impose intense deprivations on societal groups without their consent? Should not such intervention by powerful state and non?state donors be approved by popular consent? Should the state be made to succumb to external impositions that undermine its contractual obligations to its citizens, which is to ensure a modicum of welfare?

Developing state economic crisis and external impositions are an integral part of the internationalization of the state. The motivation of state policy has shifted from domestic welfare to international competitiveness whose requirements include decreased state capacity or intervention in the economy. Internationalization effects call into question the very identity of the state vis-à-vis civil society. But in the case of the developing state, it is unable to overcome this progressive diminution of state capacity and legitimacy through a reconceptualization of its identity and internationalization of the national interest. For the developing state, state policy has been narrowly transformed into a desire to enhance the global competitive position of the national economy, rather than, for example, making efforts to increase levels of domestic employment. In other words, domestic concerns have been subordinated to the requirements of globalization emanating from the dominant actors.


In the Westphalian model of interstate relations, intervention is generally believed to be legally and morally unacceptable. However, the violent conflictual nature of the post-Cold War international system and its attendant humanitarian imperatives is challenging the twin principles of state sovereignty and non-intervention because the intensity of genocidal massacres and ethnic bloodletting are very repulsive to international society. There is also a growing consensus in the international relations of states that when such interventions are collectively authorized by either a regional organization, the international community, or Great Powers, they acquire legitimacy. This cosmopolitan moral theory of international relations is increasingly recognizing that members of the family of nations have an obligation to intervene to stop massive human rights violations. Thus, the once sacrosanct principle of non-intervention and sovereignty is being steadily undermined by the new scope and intensity of intra-state conflicts. However, such interventions could be viewed in terms of the need by dominant actors of the international system to perform their hegemonic function of preserving the integrity of the existing state-centric system and reducing the level of anarchy in the international system.

In the economic realm, economic interventions are outcomes of the impact of globalization processes on the sovereignty of the state. Their relationship portrays a serious tension as SAPs as an aspect of globalization challenge both state sovereignty and identity in the developing world. The transnationalization and supranationalism involved in SAPs challenge the effectiveness of both domestic and international state policies. The key international organizations embody the rules which facilitate the expansion of hegemonic world orders. They reflect orientations favorable to the dominant social and economic forces emanating from the powerful states, but which often have some negative human rights consequences for the developing state. It has become evident that SAPs do not by themselves reduce poverty, and macroeconomic recovery does not translate into a significant social improvement. In many developing states, the "national popular state" (or welfare state) declined as a result of SAPs. With the neoliberal model, the state was forced to abandon its role as an agent of social development and integration.

In sum, the developing state is a sociopolitical and economic example of an externally-imposed and intersubjective creation of Great-Power responses to material conditions. All the anomalies, paradoxes, and dilemmas inherent in the weak developing state, are products of a prevailing ontology, in this case, a post-Cold War ontology. The modern state system comprised of both developed and developing states is constitutive of contending interest-based images of appropriate socio-economic and political order which divide North and South, and create tensions among competing ethnocommunal groups.


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