The world is full of areas of limited statehood where central state institutions are too weak to implement and enforce central decisions and/or lack the monopoly over the means of violence. We argue, however, that the absence of hierarchical governance by the state does not equal anarchy and chaos. Areas of limited statehood are neither ungoverned nor ungovernable. We find huge variation in the extent to which rules and regulations are being implemented and/or public services are being provided in areas of limited statehood. We explain this variation by focusing a) on legitimacy as a social relationship between those being governed and the “governors” providing the latter with a “license to govern;” b) social trust as the social glue among members of relevant communities enabling them to govern and to solve collective action problems.
Tanja A. Börzel is Professor of Political Science and holds the Chair for European Integration at the Otto-Suhr-Institute for Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin. She is coordinator of the Research College “The Transformative Power of Europe”, together with Thomas Risse, as well as the FP7-Collaborative Project “Maximizing the Enlargement Capacity of the European Union” and the H2020 Collaborative Project “The EU and Eastern Partnership Countries: An Inside-Out Analysis and Strategic Assessment”. She also directs the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence “Europe and its Citizens”. Her recent publications include “From Europeanization to Diffusion” (Special Issue of West European Politics, 2012, 35, 1, 2012, co-edited with Thomas Risse), “Business and Governance in South Africa. Racing to the Top?” (Palgrave, 2013, co-edited with Christian Thauer), “Governance Transfer by Regional Organizations” (Palgrave, 2014, co-edited with Vera van Hüllen) and “The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Regionalism” (Oxford University Press 2016, co-edited with Thomas Risse).
Thomas Risse is Professor of International Relations at the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin. He is co-ordinator of the Research Center 700 ‘Governance of Areas of Limited Statehood’ and co-director of the Research College ‘Transformative Power of Europe’, both funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). His latest publications include the Oxford Handbook of Comparative Regionalism (Oxford University Press, 2016, ed. with Tanja A. Börzel), European Public Spheres. Politics is Back (Cambridge University Press, 2015, ed.), “External Actors, State-Building, and Service Provision in Areas of Limited Statehood” (Special Issue of Governance, 2014, ed. with Stephen Krasner).