Maintaining Sovereignty in Africa: The Role of External Forces in Warlord States
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The article presents an analysis of the role that external forces play in the maintenance of sovereignty in Warlord states. We focus on the strategies enacted by various warlords in Africa, specifically in Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia. Latham’s concept of ‘transterritorial deployments’ underpins the article’s analysis of African state sovereignty, leading us to argue that in order to maintain sovereignty, rulers of warlord states come to rely upon forms of transterritorial deployment. In this, sovereignty is maintained through a combination of three processes: the auctioning off of state resources, the employment of external actors to fill state roles, and the development of foreign patrimonial networks. This argument provides important insight into local/global interactions and the manner in which they affect perceptions of sovereignty. Moreover, the article highlights the roles that external entities can enact in shaping forms of authority and governance in Africa.
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