The SFB 700 “Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood” focuses on the questions:
How are areas of limited statehood governed? What are the specific context conditions of governance in areas of limited statehood and which problems arise?
SFB 700 analyzes governance – the diverse forms and modes of ruling – in areas in which state authority is limited. How are public goods provided when states do not effectively exercise a monopoly on the use of force? How are binding rules determined and enforced when states lack basic capabilities?
Conventional governance research takes some core elements of modern statehood for granted. These core elements manifest themselves in an institutional, normative constellation characteristic of the modern state. Typically, this constellation is either missing in areas outside the OECD world and historical areas of limited statehood, or replaced by functional equivalents. In an investigation of “governance in areas of limited statehood,” it is thus necessary to examine critically whether the various governance concepts can be applied and transferred to non-OECD areas. The conceptual and cultural translation of governance concepts is a prerequisite for incorporating and analyzing the broad variety of governance structures outside the OECD world. This is the SFB 700’s main focus of research during the second funding period, on both a theoretical-conceptual and an empirical level. With regards to the normative dimension, we examine the conditions which enable effective and legitimate governance, even in areas of limited statehood. Analyzing governance in historical areas of limited statehood allows us to assess the applicability and transferability of governance concepts to other periods of time. By studying governance in colonial contexts, historical projects also aim to identify potential post-colonial sources of contemporary governance problems.