Cover of Sovereignty Sharing in Fragile States by John D. Ciorciari
Sovereignty Sharing in Fragile States
John D. Ciorciari

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March 2021
328 pages.
$70.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503613669

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In fragile states, domestic and international actors sometimes take the momentous step of sharing sovereign authority to provide basic public services and build the rule of law. While sovereignty sharing can help address gaps in governance, it is inherently difficult, risking redundancy, confusion over roles, and feuds between partners when their interests diverge.

In Sovereignty Sharing in Fragile States, John D. Ciorciari sheds light on how and why these extraordinary joint ventures are created, designed, and implemented. Based on extensive field research in several countries and more than 150 interviews with senior figures from governments, the UN, donor states, and civil society, Ciorciari discusses when sovereignty sharing may be justified and when it is most likely to achieve its aims. The two, he argues, are closely related: perceived legitimacy and continued political and popular support are keys to success.

This book examines a diverse range of sovereignty-sharing arrangements, including hybrid criminal tribunals, joint policing arrangements, and anti-corruption initiatives, in Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Lebanon, Timor-Leste, Guatemala, and Liberia. Ciorciari provides the first comparative assessment of these remarkable attempts to repair ruptures in the rule of law—the heart of a well-governed state.

About the author

John D. Ciorciari is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Gerald R. Ford School's Weiser Diplomacy Center and International Policy Center at the University of Michigan.

"John Ciorciari has written a wonderful work. Sovereignty sharing has been an approach that has not been given a proper name. Ciorciari not only provides excellent case studies, but he also shows why sovereignty sharing has been widely used and the limited conditions that make it likely to be successful."

—Stephen D. Krasner, Stanford University

"This extraordinary book combines insights and lessons for those who wish to understand the challenges of sovereignty sharing to promote the rule of law in fragile states. Meticulously researched, Sovereignty Sharing in Fragile States is an invaluable resource for scholars and practitioners. Highly recommended."

—Richard Caplan, Oxford University

"Sovereignty Sharing in Fragile States is a first-rate piece of scholarship that offers a compelling answer to an important, but perennially perplexing, question: Why do 'shared sovereignty' arrangements fail so often—and under what conditions can they succeed?"

—Roland Paris, University of Ottawa