A characteristic feature of many contemporary international administrations of post-conflict territories has been the reluctance of the administrating body to rescind its competences. International administrations have legitimatised their maintenance of key competences on the basis that the societies they administer have yet to achieve stipulated benchmarks indicative of a capacity for complete self-government. This paper offers a post-structuralist analysis of the unwillingness of international administrations to cede control to local institutions and draws in particular on Jean Baudrillard's theory of hyper-reality. Baudrillard identified the means by which, as part of a process of self-identification, a simulated world has come to replace reality and our perception of things has become corrupted by a perception of a reality that never existed. Thus entities and phenomena are imbued with characteristics they do not and cannot have, yet are treated as though they do. In the context of statebuilding this has been manifest in the desire to create political communities which mirror an idealised and unreal vision of the Western state.