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Research Project B9 - Realizing Human Rights and the Right to Collective Self-Determination under Conditions of Limited Statehood

Principal Investigator:
Jan 01, 2006 — Dec 31, 2017

The research project inquires the possibility of legitimate governance under conditions of limited statehood. In the first funding period we worked on clarifying the concept of legitimacy. During the second funding period we dealt with two meta-problems of legitimacy. Firstly, in the horizontal dimension it is ambiguous whom collectively binding decisions should be made for. Secondly, in the vertical dimension it is controversial who is permitted to make, change, and implement collectively binding decisions. Thus, our objective of the second funding period was to develop normative principles for dealing with these meta-problems. We then applied these principles to two issues: the justification of secessions as an answer to deficits in horizontal legitimacy and the normative justifiability of international transitional administrations in the absence of vertical legitimacy.
In the third funding period, we will draw on these results to answer to questions: Firstly, starting from the idea of a moral division of labor we ask what human rights obligations should be ascribed to the different governance actors operating in areas of limited statehood. Secondly, we inquire how the right to collective self-determination can be realized with regard to new forms of governance. Our normative starting point is a moral account of human rights and the right to collective self-determination. Methodologically, we focus on the ambivalence of state governance. By analyzing this ambivalence, we hope to arrive at a principled account of the normative status of non-state governance under conditions of limited statehood. For the SFB 700 on the whole, this research project plays an interdisciplinary role in regard to the normative evaluation of new forms of governance.

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