As a form of external state building international administrations attempt to gain interpretative authority in postwar societies. In this article we explore how interpretative authority is established and to what extent this alters the relationship between international and local political actors. We study two cases in particular, the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) and the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and show that opportunity structures are crucial for generating the interpretative authority of international administrations. However, local actors can also use those structures to articulate alternative concepts of the postwar political order and thereby contest the administration's authority. We show that, effectively, this is the case in both state building missions. Keywords: international administration, interpretative authority, Cambodia, Kosovo, state building.
|Journal||ZIB Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|