Intervening in a Diverse World: Revisiting the ‘Problem’ of Difference in International Statebuilding

Pol Bargués-Pedreny, Xavier Mathieu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


Can the pessimism regarding the possibility to support statebuilding in a diverse world be reversed? In this chapter we argue that the current miasma of despair regarding international interventions is the result of three successive errors: silencing, problematizing and stigmatising cultural difference. After examining these three errors, we suggest three new starting points: approaching difference as multidimensional, refusing to essentialise difference, and focusing on the power relations that make difference exist in the first place. By putting ‘difference’ centre stage, our ambition is to reveal new analytical strategies that go beyond the impasse in which the field of statebuilding finds itself.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Intervention and Statebuilding
EditorsNicolas Lemay-Hébert
PublisherEdward Elgar
ISBN (Print)978 1 78811 622 0
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

This is a draft chapter. The final version is available in Handbook on Intervention and Statebuilding edited by Nicolas Lemay-Hébert in 2019, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

The material cannot be used for any other purpose without further permission of the publisher, and is for private use only.


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