Occupation law and international state-building: friend or foe
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Following the end of the cold war, the incidence of statebuilding interventions has visibly increased in the case of dysfunctional (failed) states. Today, such interventionism in a good faith promotes liberal values and is believed to be in line with international legal regimes that makes it distinctive from neo-imperial politics. Even if state-building does not generally refer to regular warfare, it often takes analogous forms to occupation, which was codified in jus in bello at the beginning of the XXth century. While the occupation law requires occupants to maintain status quo on the occupying territory (article 43 of Hague Regulations), armed state-building is transformative by definition that seems to undermine conservative provisions of the former. The article presents traditional criteria for occupation in the Hague and Geneva conventions as well as prospects and limitations of its refinement (jus post bellum). In theory, such a redefinition could launch the formulation of the statebuilding regime, which aims to reduce deficits or double-standards in international state-building by focusing on the interests of local stakeholders of transformative projects. Hence, the Author addresses three interlocking issues: occupation within state-building, the occupation law and state-building, and transformative occupation as state-building.
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