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By Nina Wilén (auth.)

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Additional info for Justifying Interventions in Africa: (De)Stabilizing Sovereignty in Liberia, Burundi and the Congo

Sample text

We will try to determine the actual state of sovereignty, the meaning of sovereignty and therefore the different interpretations of the state of sovereignty. While a sovereign state includes an agent, that is the state, and an identity, that is sovereignty, the state of sovereignty refers to what just sovereignty means, both internally and externally. External sovereignty refers to the relationship between sovereign states as opposed to within them. It is interpreted as the legally protected freedom from outside interference (Jackson, 1990, p.

It is therefore not an attempt to explain the reasons for the conflict, nor does it try to write the complete history of Liberia. Nevertheless, the reader might draw some conclusions from the structure that preceded the conflict and understand the underlying tensions in Liberian society at the outbreak of the conflict through this section. A. Historical background In 1822 the US shipped over a few thousand emancipated slaves to a piece of land that later became Liberia. The newly arrived AmericoLiberians, as they came to be called, installed themselves as the elite of Liberia and tried to duplicate the society they had known in the US in their new country (Wippman, 1993, p.

45), and recognition. An intervention can consequently affect several different aspects of the sovereign state, as we will see in the coming sections. In a modern understanding of sovereignty it is derived from the people: the population (Weber, 1995, p. 8). Claims to sovereignty are no longer perceived as coming neither from divine sources nor from the king or the president. To use the analytical tools presented earlier, the population can hence be understood as playing the role of the signified that the signifier (the government) represents.

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