Sovereignty Sharing in Fragile States
John D. Ciorciari



ON A HOT AFTERNOON IN MID-2019, a unit of United Nations police jumped into a white patrol vehicle with local officers from the Central African Republic, investigating a string of sectarian killings and the murder of a Catholic nun.1 Their shared mission was to restore law and order in a beleaguered country that senior UN officials warned could fall prey to genocide. Several time zones away, at a UN-backed tribunal in Phnom Penh, foreign and Cambodian judges huddled to consider evidence related to a genocide that had already occurred.2 In Guatemala City, UN-appointed investigators and colleagues in the attorney general’s office carried out several raids as part of a string of anticorruption investigations reaching all the way to the president’s office.3

In each case, national and international partners were sharing sovereignty. With government consent, external actors were working alongside domestic personnel, exercising authority normally reserved for state officials. These arrangements are remarkable in the postcolonial era, when state sovereignty norms have strong subscription in the Global South. Still, the United Nations and other international actors have pursued sovereignty-sharing arrangements in a growing number of instances to address governance gaps in fragile states—countries where domestic institutions are frail, public service provision is poor, and the rule of law is weak.

Sovereignty-sharing ventures represent a middle path between ordinary technical assistance and full-fledged international administration. Technical assistance to troubled governments is ubiquitous but often insufficient to address major governance failures, and imposing full international control is seldom feasible or desirable. Sharing authority over core governance functions potentially offers a way to steer between those alternatives, marrying external intervention with local ownership and participation.4 Nevertheless, sovereignty sharing raises obvious normative concerns about deep external involvement in domestic affairs, the motives of intervening parties, and the propriety of their policy prescriptions. Sharing domestic authority also presents formidable practical challenges related to external actors’ capacity and the fit between what they can offer and what domestic partners need.

This book examines how and why sovereignty-sharing arrangements take shape, and the political factors that affect their design, performance, and perceived legitimacy. It discusses when these remarkable joint ventures may be justified and when they are likely to achieve their two consistently stated objectives: delivering effective stopgap services and advancing domestic institutional reform.

The central argument advanced is that the legitimacy and effectiveness of sovereignty-sharing arrangements depend largely on the strength of their political foundations. These joint ventures can perform well and earn public legitimacy when a sufficiently strong coalition of host state officials, international actors, and the local population shares compatible governance objectives. These conditions favor strong domestic consent, and enable the people entrusted with implementing the arrangement to carry out their tasks with the support or acquiescence of their political superiors and the constituencies they serve. This strengthens the normative case for a venture, boosts its effectiveness, and helps in its legitimation.

As this book will show, however, sovereignty sharing usually results more from grudging compromises than genuinely shared preferences. The interests of national elites and their international partners often diverge from one another or from those of the general public, particularly in regard to domestic institutional reform. In these circumstances, joint ventures rest on precarious political foundations, undermining their perceived legitimacy and effectiveness. They can sometimes deliver important stopgap services, but they generally struggle to advance deep-rooted domestic reform.

This book focuses on a crucial and challenging set of sovereignty-sharing ventures: those charged with promoting the rule of law in fragile states. The term “rule of law” refers here to the principle that both governments and private actors should be constrained by a well-defined and well-enforced set of laws that comply with international human rights standards.5 One reason for focusing on rule-of-law interventions is their substantive importance. They lie at the conceptual core of the state-building enterprise, and the goal of strengthening the rule of law is now central to most complex peacebuilding and development efforts in fragile states.6 A second reason for focusing on rule-of-law ventures is that they present hard cases for effective shared sovereignty. Partnerships aiming to advance the rule of law face a central dilemma: they require cooperation from host state officials while simultaneously seeking to develop norms and institutions that constrain the power of those officials. Indeed, they typically challenge the very governance structures and practices that keep fragile state leaders in power. If sovereignty sharing can work in this difficult domain, it can help address crucial governance needs, and has bright prospects in less sensitive areas as well.

What Sovereignty Sharing Entails

Sovereignty sharing entails consensual arrangements in which governments allow international actors to work alongside domestic counterparts and to exercise authority normally reserved for state officials. It can occur via formal treaties, executive agreements, or informal accords. It does not affect a state’s juridical status as sovereign, which is indivisible; only one political entity can be recognized as the ultimate authority over a given territory and population. At least in theory, states also retain the exclusionary rights associated with sovereign status—namely, the Westphalian right to be free of unwanted external interference.

What national governments do share are certain domestic governing authorities that sovereign status confers upon them within their territories. This “domestic sovereignty” is partly a descriptive concept, delineating the nature and extent of political authority within a state.7 It also refers to a normative entitlement allowing the sovereign to exercise that authority. John Jackson rightly argues that in its modern incarnation, sovereignty normally refers to “questions about the allocation of power,” particularly the appropriate locus of “government decision-making power” with respect to specific issues of public concern.8

The possibility of dividing this domestic political authority is readily apparent in democratic systems that feature separation of powers, federalism, and institutionalized popular constraints on government such as public referenda.9 States are legally entitled to contract, and exclusionary Westphalian rights do not deny them the ability to confer domestic authorities on external partners. As Alexander Cooley and Hendrik Spruyt argue, “sovereignty consists of a bundle of rights,” some of which can be apportioned to outsiders.10 Sharing domestic decision-making power does compromise a state’s autonomy, which is the prime benefit of Westphalian sovereignty. However, a consensual transfer expresses the state’s freedom of policy choice without forfeiting the state’s juridical status or its entitlement to invoke the protections of Westphalian sovereignty.11

Governments often delegate authority. European states have “pooled” some aspects of their domestic authority in the European Union,12 for example, and governments that “dollarize” effectively outsource monetary policy to the US Federal Reserve. Many governments delegate power to bodies that enforce treaties on matters such as trade, investment and human rights. Many also relinquish some sovereign control when they host foreign military forces and grant foreign partners selective jurisdiction over troops on the base.13

The sovereignty-sharing arrangements examined in this book differ from other forms of delegated authority, however, because they feature deep involvement of external actors within or directly alongside domestic authority structures. Hosting armed international police in a city neighborhood or placing foreign judges in local courts is quite different from the ways in which consolidated states typically delegate authority.

While governments of all kinds may delegate domestic authority, the intrusive form of sovereignty sharing described here typically occurs amid broader international peace operations and is concentrated in fragile states. These include war-torn, impoverished countries like South Sudan or Afghanistan, as well as countries like Guatemala or Haiti that suffer from severe institutional weakness, rampant crime, sectarian strife, and other problems rendering residents vulnerable to a range of human security threats. By most reasonable measures, at least a few dozen states merit the label “fragile.”14

The concept of state fragility has important normative implications. It connotes the absence of reasonably well-functioning Weberian institutions, and the implicit antidote is to build stronger formal rules and procedures, technical expertise, and the rule of law. The United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and powerful states have all invoked the concept of state fragility as part of their justification for governance interventions.15 The external actors involved in sovereignty-sharing arrangements generally have advanced similar models for what constitutes “good governance.” They have promoted rules, systems, practices, and expertise associated with sound Weberian institutions and bearing Western democratic imprints. They thus comprise part of a broader set of practices that Roland Paris calls “liberal peacebuilding.”16 Sovereignty sharing is not a normatively neutral enterprise.

The most basic stated aims of sovereignty-sharing ventures are not controversial; some tenets of the rule of law are widely accepted. Officials should not steal wantonly from the public trough or murder civilians with impunity, for example. Police should try to stop crimes rather than commit them. Populations across diverse societies generally view violation of these tenets as governance failings. Nevertheless, external and domestic actors often differ on how best to fill these gaps, because either their interests or their normative values diverge. This is a major reason why shared sovereignty is so challenging to design and implement effectively.

Of course, the intrusiveness of the practice adds to its sensitivity. In ordinary aid programs, technical advisors generally are subject to terms of reference that confine them to building capacity and implementing specific measures in furtherance of policies set by the state. If technical advisors stay within those mandates, they are seldom seen as infringing upon state sovereignty.17 The task of technical advisors is to help state officials govern effectively, not to govern themselves; though in practice, that distinction is more a matter of degree than kind.

Shared sovereignty also goes beyond aid conditionality. Lending bodies such as the IMF and World Bank are often accused of infringing on state sovereignty by forcing governments to swallow international policy prescriptions during hours of need.18 Aid conditions do constrain a state’s exercise of sovereign authority, sometimes so tightly that external lenders and technical advisors effectively dictate a state’s policy choices.19 Even in those cases, however, external actors do not wield the formal authority to govern. As William Brown argues, conditionality affects “policy autonomy but not the right to rule.”20 Shared sovereignty goes a step further, as host state leaders give external actors the express authority to make certain domestic governance decisions alongside state officials. Widespread resentment of donors’ use of conditionality to exert de facto policy control makes it all the more striking that some governments have conferred de jure authority on outsiders as well.

Analysts sometimes describe sovereignty-sharing arrangements as contracting, outsourcing, or delegation agreements.21 These more anodyne labels capture the transfer of domestic authority and avoid the potential confusion and contestation that comes with invoking sovereignty by name. For similar reasons, “sovereignty sharing” is decidedly not a term of art among policy practitioners, who generally pay deference to Westphalian norms in rhetoric, if not in action. Steering clear of the “S word” is often wise diplomatically, but it downplays the contentiousness underlying delegation deals. This book’s use of the term “sovereignty sharing” is intentionally provocative. It points to the deep normative debates that surround transfer of domestic authority, as well as the difficulty of reconciling a government’s freedom to contract with the exclusionary Westphalian conception of sovereignty.

Sharing Sovereignty to Strengthen the Rule of Law

The contemporary practice of sharing sovereignty in fragile states emerged after the Cold War, as civil conflict raged in many parts of the Global South. The problems arising in weakly governed spaces led the United Nations and other international actors to focus on building what Michael Barnett calls “empirical sovereignty”—the capacity to govern.22 In particular, there was a growing consensus around the need to build stronger rule-of-law institutions to create the foundations for peace, economic growth, and democratic development.23 Importantly, Western powers’ predominance in the post–Cold War period enabled bold new initiatives to promote Weberian conceptions of the rule of law. Some of those initiatives involved shared sovereignty. In each case, sovereignty-sharing arrangements have had an explicit dual mandate: to provide effective stopgap public services in the short run, while building domestic capacity and promoting rule-of-law reform needed for the long run.

Sharing the Gavel: Hybrid Criminal Courts

Among the most visible sovereignty-sharing arrangements have been hybrid criminal courts that blend national and international laws, procedures, and personnel to pursue justice for war crimes and other atrocities. The idea for hybrid courts emerged in the late 1990s as a compromise between external actors keen to pursue global justice, and fragile state governments keen to retain sovereign control. The fully international criminal tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia were costly and slow, distant from survivor populations, and imposed by the UN Security Council. National courts were sometimes manifestly unable or unwilling to deliver credible trials. Mixed tribunals offered a middle ground—a potential way to marry international resources, technical expertise, and standards with local ownership and knowledge. The stated goals of these ventures included delivering effective justice and helping to strengthen local legal norms and institutions.

Beginning in 2000, a flurry of hybrid courts took shape. These included specialized national chambers as well as bodies created via treaties or the United Nations, possessing an international legal character. In Kosovo and East Timor (later renamed Timor-Leste when it gained independence in 2002), UN transitional administrators created mixed panels to patch gaping holes in local judicial systems. Although no recognized local sovereign existed to consent to their creation, these panels entailed shared domestic authority, as external and local actors worked side by side under national law within local court systems.24

Soon afterward, three more substantial UN-backed hybrid courts took shape. In 2002 the United Nations partnered with the vulnerable postwar government of Ahmad Tejan Kabbah to form the Special Court for Sierra Leone to address wartime atrocities. In Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen resisted UN leadership of trials against former Khmer Rouge officials, but assented in 2003 to a hybrid court with minority UN participation. A few years later in Lebanon, the government of Fouad Siniora invited a UN commission to investigate the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. Siniora then requested UN help to forge a mixed tribunal, and when domestic discord prevented ratification of the deal, the UN Security Council created the hybrid Special Tribunal for Lebanon by a Chapter VII resolution.

Outside the UN umbrella, the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Office of the High Representative created the hybrid War Crimes Chamber to handle lower-level cases as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia wound down. In 2007 the European Union launched the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), a complex mission to support rule-of-law development, in part by having foreign judges and prosecutors serve alongside local counterparts within Kosovo’s judicial system. A similar arrangement existed in Timor-Leste as that country moved from international administration to full independence.

In 2012 the government of Senegal partnered with the African Union to try former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré in the Extraordinary African Chambers, which featured both Senegalese and international judges. In 2015, Kosovo created Specialist Chambers within the local judicial system, staffed by international appointees in The Hague, to address certain crimes at the end of the Kosovo war in 1998 to 2000. The same year, the Central African Republic agreed to form a hybrid Special Criminal Court with the United Nations to address atrocities from its civil war. In recent years, international actors and local civil society groups have proposed hybrid courts for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, and Syria. While those governments have resisted, the concept of hybrid justice remains very much alive.

Sharing the Badge: Police Powers

In exceptional cases, governments also have shared sovereignty over law enforcement. During acute security crises or the phaseout of international administration, some have allowed foreign police or peacekeepers to exercise core police powers such as search and seizure, arrest, detention, and the use of force. Under the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (1991–93), UN civilian police had powers to “supervise or control” Cambodian police, help maintain public order, and eventually carry out arrests. A few years later, US and UN personnel exercised limited law enforcement powers as part of the multilateral intervention to restore law and order in Haiti after the restoration of the elected leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide and disbandment of the Haitian armed forces.

More extensive international police missions soon followed. During the “neo-trusteeships” in Kosovo and Timor-Leste, UN police assumed full authority for domestic law enforcement, and shared that authority during the process of handing powers to newly formed local police forces. In 2003, an embattled government in the Solomon Islands gave an Australian-led coalition broad executive policing powers, including the powers of detention and arrest, to stem an existential law-and-order crisis and to rebuild domestic institutions. In 2006, Timor-Leste faced a similar domestic security crisis and invited UN police to return with authority to help restore law and order. Since 2014, leaders of the Central African Republic have authorized UN police to carry out law enforcement functions to stem its ongoing domestic crisis under the rubric of “urgent temporary measures.”25 EU police missions in Bosnia and Kosovo have included forms of monitoring and assistance that amount to elements of shared sovereignty.

In some complex peacekeeping missions—including those in Haiti, Liberia, Mali, Somalia, and South Sudan—governments also have allowed external actors to exercise limited law enforcement authority in furtherance of their civilian protection mandates.26 Of course, states that authorize military interventions share sovereign defense powers as well. Within the realm of UN peacekeeping, one notable example is the creation of the Force Intervention Brigade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo—a military formation with an unusually muscular mandate to use force against armed rebel groups.27 Other fragile cases have outsourced domestic security functions to private contractors such as Executive Outcomes, a mercenary group from South Africa. While the delegation of conventional military functions falls beyond the scope of this book, the transfer of limited police powers to peacekeepers for civilian protection purposes is a classic instance of sovereignty sharing in the rule-of-law domain.28

Outsourcing to Curb Corruption

In other instances, governments have agreed to outsource sovereign functions to challenge official corruption and the impunity often associated with it. In a few cases they have invited external actors to help investigate state-linked crimes and corruption. The seminal experiment began in 2007 in Guatemala, where a surge of international pressure and public outrage over violent crime and corruption led the government to create the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG)—a UN-appointed international body nested within Guatemala’s domestic judicial system and granted the authority to probe complex domestic crimes, including corruption. This was a stunning development, as it gave outsiders domestic powers to hold sitting officials to account—powers that few if any of CICIG’s foreign sponsors would countenance at home.29

Nearly a decade later, mass protests in Honduras demanded a similar commission to tackle graft. The Honduran government responded by partnering with the Organization of American States (OAS) and creating a weaker sibling to CICIG, a mixed commission with more limited domestic powers. Public protesters and civil society have pushed for CICIG-like bodies in Mexico, Panama, and El Salvador, which in 2019 inked an agreement with the OAS to establish the new International Commission against Impunity in El Salvador. Despite resistance in many regional capitals, and despite CICIG’s closure in 2019, it remains very relevant as a model.

Governments also have outsourced other authorities to curb corruption. In Liberia, to stem runaway graft, external actors gained authority to cosign on certain official decisions in the Governance and Economic Management Assistance Program (GEMAP), launched in 2005. The hybrid Interim Haiti Recovery Commission was established in 2010 to monitor the use of a tidal wave of reconstruction assistance entering the country after a devastating earthquake. In the same year, the Afghan government responded to donor frustration by creating a mixed anticorruption committee to monitor official misuse of funds. More recently, international donors have pressed ailing governments to clone GEMAP in places such as Somalia and the Central African Republic. In Mozambique and Angola, governments have outsourced customs collection to a private firm: deals resembling the delegation agreements with official outside actors discussed in this book.30

These represent the major instances of sovereignty sharing to advance rule-of-law reform since the end of the Cold War. The universe of cases is therefore modest in size. It includes nine hybrid criminal courts, several ventures in which international police or peacekeepers have held domestic law enforcement powers, a handful of international or mixed commissions with authority to probe domestic crimes, and a few hybrid nonjudicial mechanisms giving outsiders financial controls to curb corruption.

The Argument in Brief

This book argues that the perceived legitimacy and effectiveness of sovereignty-sharing arrangements depend crucially on the nature of the political foundations of those arrangements. External actors generally lack intrinsic legitimacy; the notion of outsiders performing core domestic law-and-order functions clashes with conventional notions of state sovereignty, and raises obvious concerns about neoimperialism. State consent can mitigate normative concerns to some degree, but it seldom suffices, since fragile states usually have weak bargaining leverage vis-à-vis external partners. Humanitarian objectives are also necessary but insufficient to justify a sovereignty-sharing scheme, since international actors may not deliver the services local populations need. To earn legitimacy, sovereignty-sharing arrangements have to rely heavily on performance, delivering markedly better services than state institutions—particularly in the eyes of the host state population.

The performance of these joint ventures hinges largely on the nature of their political foundations. In the most favorable cases, domestic leaders and outsiders decide to share sovereignty to pursue a common interest in providing better governance services in line with public aspirations. External actors may seek to punish mass crimes, stem a security crisis with cross-border implications, or shore up a favored fragile state government, for example. Domestic leaders may aim to develop state institutions, win public support, or simply strengthen their positions in power. These aims need not be altruistic; what matters is that the parties share broadly compatible interests in performing functions that the public generally will appreciate.

Convergence in the preferences of domestic elites, their external partners, and the public enables relatively well-legitimated delegation agreements—such as treaties ratified by parliament—that provide relatively clear transfers of authority. Clear and binding delegation deals are often conducive to effective collaboration in the field. Moreover, convergent aims can produce what Stephen Krasner calls a “self-enforcing equilibrium” in which both sides have a sustained interest in cooperation.31 Sound performance can earn public plaudits for both the external actors involved and the government, and can win the joint venture public and international support that protects it when resistant domestic elites try to clip its wings. Strong performance also elicits public cooperation, which in turn facilitates effective performance and wins further performance legitimacy in a “virtuous circle.”32

Most sovereignty-sharing arrangements do not benefit from such supportive political conditions, however. Most reflect highly asymmetric bargains struck when fragile state governments have been deeply dependent on external support for regime security. State consent often is compromised, in the sense that it is driven more by crisis conditions or overwhelming international leverage than by enduring shared interests or a common vision for better governance.

Even when domestic and international partners share some goals, such as convicting rebel warlords or curbing violence in the capital, their interests and policy preferences seldom align neatly. External actors sometimes prioritize strategic aims that cut against the stated purposes of the joint venture or the needs of the state in question, and domestic leaders sometimes have little interest in governing well by Westphalian standards. In fragile states, even reform-minded leaders face incentives to practice “neopatrimonial” politics, enriching and protecting themselves and their copartisans against political rivals.33 Domestic elites who embrace rule-of-law principles face what Christoph Zürcher et al. call “adoption costs,” as the rule of law may compromise other political objectives, including personal wealth and self-preservation.34 For all of these reasons, many agreements to share sovereignty have rested on precarious political foundations.

Divergent preferences and domestic reluctance to cede control tend to produce ambiguous agreements that leave key rights and responsibilities vague.35 The precise authority of external actors, the scope of the parties’ cooperation, and the duration of the venture are often ill-defined, particularly in regard to domestic institutional reform. This helps make the arrangements palatable to both sides, but leaves room for ownership gaps, confusion, and feuds between the partners. When they are not rooted in shared interests and clear and enforceable contracts, sovereignty-sharing ventures are prone to waver or fray during implementation.

Effective performance requires that both sides support the venture—or at least tolerate it. This is possible in pockets where preferences coincide, but where interests diverge, partners are apt to work at cross-purposes or to engage in politicized feuds that undermine an arrangement’s effectiveness and perceived legitimacy. Without host-state cooperation, in particular, even the most capable external actors struggle to deliver the effective services needed to win public and international support.

Overwhelming external and public pressure sometimes can help hold a reluctant government to the terms of the deal, but enforced equilibriums are highly unstable. Domestic leaders retain the sovereign right to withdraw consent, and that lever often becomes more usable over time, as the state regains its footing and external actors either turn their attention elsewhere or become too deeply invested in a joint venture to pull out. In such cases, domestic elites can exert considerable influence despite their material weakness. This dynamic makes domestic institutional reform a particularly arduous task, as few sovereignty-sharing ventures last long enough or attract enough buy-in from national officials to make much progress toward that objective. Indeed, profound and sustainable institutional reform may be too much to ask of relatively brief interventions in societies with deeply ingrained neopatrimonial practices.

A Road Map

The rest of this book elaborates on these claims. Chapter 1 discusses the normative rationales for sovereignty sharing and critiques of the practice, arguing that sovereignty-sharing arrangements normally must rely heavily on performance if they are to be justified. Chapter 2 then examines how a venture’s political foundation tends to affect its design and performance, and therefore also its perceived legitimacy.

The remaining chapters examine sovereignty sharing in practice through detailed case studies of the most prominent and well-resourced ventures to date. These include the three major UN-backed hybrid criminal courts in Sierra Leone, Cambodia, and Lebanon; the joint policing mission at the heart of the UN mission in Timor-Leste; the UN commission to combat impunity in Guatemala; and the uniquely expansive economic governance program in Liberia. I select these cases for a few reasons. First, ventures that enjoy ample resources and strong international support present the toughest available tests for my arguments about the challenges of sharing sovereignty. Second, these diverse cases demonstrate the relevance of my theoretical framework to a broad array of interventions across the globe and across policy domains. Third, these are the ventures most often consulted as potential models, which makes them particularly important to understand.

To present accurate and nuanced accounts of the cases in question, I rely on more than 150 semistructured elite interviews conducted in Cambodia, Lebanon, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Europe, the United States, and elsewhere from 2016 to 2019. These offer diverse perspectives from current and former host state officials, international civil servants, donor country representatives, and civil society leaders, helping to illustrate how sovereignty-sharing arrangements evolve and how they are perceived by multiple relevant audiences.

Careful case analyses offer the best available means to evaluate the perceived legitimacy and effectiveness of joint ventures—namely, the extent to which they outperform state institutions initially and help to narrow the performance gap over time. Official mandates offer one important framework for grading implementation, but they are often vague, blending lofty aspirations with the genuine aims and expectations of the parties.36 Quantifiable data, such as falling homicide rates or results of public approval polls, are often useful. Counterfactual analysis is always important, as sovereignty sharing occurs only when external actors expect alternative options to produce very poor outcomes. Stakeholder preferences also require consideration, as various parties’ views of effective performance invariably differ on the basis of their own values and interests. Lastly, careful case analyses elucidate the drivers of performance, including the high-level political dynamics at the core of this book’s argument, exogenous shocks, and the agency of individual implementing actors. Understanding the interplay between structure, agency, and contingency is essential for drawing sound theoretical and policy conclusions.

Cases such as those of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, CICIG in Guatemala, and GEMAP in Liberia show that sovereignty-sharing ventures can help deliver important public services while political equilibriums hold. However, all the cases demonstrate how challenging those equilibriums are to maintain and how difficult it is to translate shared sovereignty into sustainable domestic reform. This book concludes by considering the prospects for shared sovereignty in the future. Sovereignty sharing has a checkered track record and faces considerable resistance in an era of rising nationalism, as Westphalian norms are reasserted. Nevertheless, it continues to be practiced or considered in a growing number of struggling states. Given its profound normative implications, and the meager menu of alternatives available to fill dire governance gaps, the dynamics of shared sovereignty are well worth understanding.


1. “UN: Armed Group Kills More Than 30 in Central African Republic,” Agence France-Presse, May 22, 2019.

2. ECCC, Pre-Trial Chamber, Response to the Trial Chamber Memo, May 21, 2019.

3. “MP y CICIG realizan allanamientos,” Diario La Hora, May 21, 2019.

4. See Krasner 2004.

5. UN secretary-general, “The Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in Conflict and Post-Conflict Countries,” United Nations doc. S/2004/616 (August 23, 2004), 6.

6. Sisk 2013; O’Neill 2008.

7. Krasner 1999, pp. 9–25. See also Hathaway 2007, pp. 120–21.

8. Jackson 2003, pp. 790–91.

9. Keohane 2003, p. 282.

10. Cooley and Spruyt 2009, p. ix. See also Pavel 2015, pp. 12–23, 36–44.

11. See Krasner 2004, p. 108.

12. Wallace 1999.

13. Keating 2006.

14. See, e.g., Fragile States Index 2017; Rotberg 2004, pp. 5–10.

15. See Woodward 2017.

16. Paris 2004.

17. Krasner 2004, p. 98.

18. See, e.g., Williams 2008; Whitfield and Fraser 2009.

19. See, e.g., Kapur and Naím 2005.

20. Brown 2013, p. 263.

21. See, e.g., Matanock 2014; Ciorciari and Krasner 2018.

22. Barnett 1995.

23. Paris and Sisk 2009, p. 10.

24. See Shraga 2004, p. 37.

25. UN Security Council Resolution 2149 (April 10, 2014), 40.

26. See, e.g., African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), press release: “Somali Police Commissioner Welcomes the First AMISOM Formed Police Unit in Mogadishu” (August 8, 2012); UN Security Council Resolution 2093 (March 6, 2013), 1(d); African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), press release: “AMISOM Recognizes Ugandan Police Officers for their Contribution to Stability in Somalia” (July 31, 2017).

27. Vogel 2014.

28. See Ciorciari 2020a.

29. Weld 2016, p. 6.

30. Krasner 1999, pp. 12–13. See also Chalfin 2004, p. 402.

31. Krasner 2004, p. 116.

32. Schmelzle and Stollenwerk 2018.

33. Bratton and Van de Walle 1994.

34. Zürcher et al. 2013, pp. ix–x.

35. Cooley and Spruyt 2009, pp. 5–6.

36. See Druckman et al. 1997.