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 self-confidently to 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.