Justifying Interventions in Africa

(De)Stabilizing Sovereignty in Liberia, Burundi and the Congo

  • Nina Wilén

About this book


Wilén answers the paradoxical question of how to stabilize a state through external intervention without destabilizing sovereignty. She examines the justifications for international and regional interventions in the cases of Liberia, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Discourse analysis of official documents and over fifty interviews of external actors in the field provide a practical perspective. Furthermore, the social constructivist framework provides the theoretical background. Rather than reinforcing sovereignty, non-aggressive interventions neutralize target states in the sense that they become dependent on external capacity to maintain their stability. The conclusion is that interventions remain both controversial and paradoxical and the stated aim of reinforcing the state's sovereignty is questionable at best.


international relations intervention Peace Peace Operation

Authors and affiliations

  • Nina Wilén
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Military AcademyBelgium

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