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date: 24 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the promotion of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy by external actors in areas of limited statehood. It begins with the definition of key terms and a brief overview of the historical trajectory in which contemporary interventions by external actors unfold. We then discuss cross-cutting issues and introduce the key actors involved in the promotion of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy. Analysing each of these issue areas in turn, we make three overarching arguments. Firstly, we highlight the multiplicity of outcomes that result from external interventions, whose impacts prove highly unevenly and spatially dispersed. Secondly, we emphasize the crucial influence of local actors and pre-existing institutions in shaping the outcomes of any governance intervention. Finally, we note that external actors have tended to rely on state-centric conceptualizations of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.

Keywords: human rights, the rule of law, democracy, norms, international donors, external intervention, local actors

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