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Nicolas Lemay-Hébert, ‘Repenser le statebuilding contemporain par l’approche durkheimienne des relations internationales’, Études internationales, 50(2) 2019: 249-62.
Bertrand Badie’s thought opened up a number of new research avenues in the field of international relations, on topics ranging from diplomacy to power strategies to the effects of globalization. Yet one of the contributions of that thought remains relatively unexplored in international relations literature: the discussion surrounding the sociology of the state and contemporary statebuilding. This article examines that contribution by way of the dialectic between Weberian and Durkheimian approaches to the state—a dialogue between two founding fathers of sociology that is one of the cornerstones of the Badiean approach to international relations. Using an analytic framework based on Badian’s work on statebuilding, this article attempts to demonstrate how the latter can be rooted either in Durhkeimian questions of social cohesion (the “social legitimacy” approach) or neo Weberian questions of state capacity (the “institutional” approach). This article also explores the limits of the neo-Weberian approach while noting the complexity of putting a Durkheimian approach into practice.