Shahar Hameiri, Caroline Hughes, and Fabio Scarpello, International Intervention and Local Politics: Fragmented States and the Politics of Scale, now out with Cambridge University Press.
International peace- and state-building interventions have become ubiquitous in international politics since the 1990s, aiming to tackle the security problems stemming from the instability afflicting many developing states. Their frequent failures have prompted a shift towards analysing how the interaction between interveners and recipients shapes outcomes. This book critically assesses the rapidly growing literature in international relations and development studies on international intervention and local politics. It advances an innovative approach, placing the politics of scale at the core of the conflicts and compromises shaping the outcomes of international intervention. Different scales – local, national, international – privilege different interests, unevenly allocating power, resources and political opportunity structures. Interveners and recipients thus pursue scalar strategies and socio-political alliances that reinforce their power and marginalise rivals. This approach is harnessed towards examining three prominent case studies of international intervention – Aceh, Cambodia and Solomon Islands – with a focus on public administration reform.