The international conception buttressing the set up of international administrations in Kosovo and Timor-Leste was closely intertwined with the semantics of statebuilding displayed at this time. The concept of ‘empty shell’ came to represent the mental image practitioners shared concerning the local context following the two conflicts and was ipso facto transformed into an operative approach. This chapter aims to analyze this international conception – dubbed here the ‘empty shell approach’ – by clarifying how the UN came to impose its authority over the two territories in a very similar process. While the literature on each statebuilding experiment is vast and compelling, few authors have attempted to contrast the two case studies, especially regarding the mental conception and the semantics informing the governance process of these territories since 1999. After defining and detailing the ‘empty-shell approach,’ the chapter looks at the operational approach related to this specific semantics of statebuilding, that is the ‘more is better approach.’ Finally, the chapter analyzes the limits of the ‘empty-shell approach’ through the specific example of the justice reform in Timor-Leste.
|Title of host publication||Semantics of Statebuilding: Language, Meanings and Sovereignty|
|Editors||Nicolas Lemay-Hebert, Nicholas Onuf, Vojin Rakic, Petar Bojanic|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2014|
|Name||Routledge Studies in Intervention and Statebuilding|