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

The project “Rule of Law and Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood,” led by Professor Gunnar Folke Schuppert, examines the consequences of limited statehood for the “rule of law”. We focus on the relationship between statutory law and non-state normative systems introduced by means of self-regulation, and examine the conditions necessary for effective forms of this self-regulation. With respect to the ongoing denationalization of rule-making and jurisdiction, several questions arise: How can effective and legitimate (and therefore secure) normative systems emerge in contexts beyond the nation-state? How can they solve the normative conflicts and collisions that expectedly follow the pluralisation of rule-making and enforcement? And to what extent do legitimate and secure non-state normative structures rely on a “shadow of the nation-state law”?

In our work we focus on three core areas:

  • By editing an online wiki on “Understandings of the Rule of Law in various Legal Orders of the World,” which incorporates contributions by authors from many countries and with diverse cultural backgrounds, we turn attention to the culturality of legal terms used in international discourse.
  • Constitutions designed in countries with weak central statutory powers contain rules on “hybrid institutions,” combining new “western” forms of legitimate political governance with traditional sources of legitimacy (e.g. in Somaliland, Afghanistan, Ethiopia). By analyzing these institutions, we hope to find new approaches to normative conflicts and legitimacy deficits in areas of limited statehood.
  • We question the explanatory value of notions and terms like “law“ or “legitimacy.” By exposing these concepts to the conditions of limited statehood, we contribute to the recent debates on general jurisprudence and the concept of law beyond the nation-state.


!! This content refers to a research project in funding period 2010-2013 !!