Research Project B7 - Rule of Law and Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood

Principal Investigator:
Research Team:
Term:
Jan 01, 2006 — Dec 31, 2017
Malik Abdur Razzaq (Khan), Elder of the Zakha Khel Clan, Afridi Tribe, Khyber Agency in the Pakistani FATA, talking to Chief Denis Dar Amallo Kundi, the Paramount Chief of the Bari People in South Sudan at the B7 Conference (2011)

Malik Abdur Razzaq (Khan), Elder of the Zakha Khel Clan, Afridi Tribe, Khyber Agency in the Pakistani FATA, talking to Chief Denis Dar Amallo Kundi, the Paramount Chief of the Bari People in South Sudan at the B7 Conference (2011)

Research Project B7 inquires as to the role of the law in areas of limited statehood. The points of departure are two central characteristics of these areas: the plurality of authorities, which claim their right to govern based on various sources of legitimacy, and the related plurality of normative regulations, which partly complement each other, partly overlap and can also collide with each other.

In the second funding period (2010-2013), the research project examined the gradual decoupling of State and Law. The research project’s central areas of focus were on three particular topics:

  • the context dependence of the concept of rule of law and its importance in different legal systems and cultures (http://www.sfb-governance.de/ruleoflaw),
  • the legal and informal courts – so-called non-state justice institutions − and their relationship to the institutions of the state, particularly to state justice, and
  • governance in and by religious communities.

It became clear how important both the local contextualization of global concepts like rule of law and the significance of non-state laws are under the circumstances of limited statehood and, this, limited power to enforce the official state law.

In the third funding period, the research project will concentrate on the following research focuses:

(1) We will examine the role authority plays in different kinds of law like, for example, African customary law or Islamic law.

(2) To be able to determine a concept of law appropriate for the conditions of limited statehood, and

(3) to assess the conditions of the validity and the effectiveness of the law, we will do empirical research in Pakistan, Ethiopia and South Africa and synchronize the findings with the latest research on legal pluralism.

(4) This brings up the question of the validity of the official statutory law in areas of limited statehood and the connected question of the prerequisites for the state law as a normative framework for non-state justice systems.

(5) From a normative viewpoint, we also want to examine to what extent the rule of law would serve as a general benchmark for the evaluation of the rightness of plural regulatory structures in areas of limited statehood.

Additional Information are available here:

Download Research Project B7 - Project Poster