‘Unsharing’ sovereignty: g7+ and the politics of international statebuilding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


In order to work, international peace- and statebuilding has had to reshape the traditional notion of state sovereignty and legitimize increasingly interventionist endeavours in terms of an attenuated ‘shared’ sovereignty. Over the last decade, however, governments in recipient states have pushed back, demanding a more active role in negotiating with their OECD counterparts. The g7+ group, an international organization of now 20 self-proclaimed fragile states, has evolved as a key actor from the global South dealing with international peace- and statebuilding. The group's approach to multilateral negotiations on development goals, and its creative use of donor concepts and approaches such as resilience, ownerships and measuring development progress, challenge the customary peace- and statebuilding practices. This challenge demonstrates that political elites in fragile states have started to self-confidentially occupy the arenas of statebuilding and development. This article argues that in so-doing the g7+ group establishes a post-liberal sovereignty claim that is based on two pillars: resilient nationhood, and selectivity in the application of global liberal principles. Since it relies on the development policy principle of national ownership, such post-liberal sovereignty is difficult to counter for actors subscribed to liberal norms. Effectively, sovereignty is ‘unshared’ again.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1417-1434
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Affairs
Issue number6
Early online date3 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in [International Affairs] following peer review. The version of record [Pospisil, J 2017, '‘Unsharing’ sovereignty: g7+ and the politics of international statebuilding', International Affairs, vol. 93, no. 6, pp. 1417-1434.] is available online at: [https://doi.org/10.1093/ia/iix188].

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.


  • international relations
  • state-building
  • sovereignty
  • international organization
  • fragility
  • g7+


Dive into the research topics of '‘Unsharing’ sovereignty: g7+ and the politics of international statebuilding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this