Appel à contributions / ouvrage (anglais) : “Hybrid Governance in the Middle East and Africa: Informal rule and the limits of statehood”, Routledge series – LIMITE : 25/02/2018

We are looking for 1-2 chapter to complete a volume on Hybrid Governance and Limited Statehood in the Middle East and Africa to be published in the Routledge series: Durham Modern Middle East and Islamic World series in 2019.

If interested please send an abstract to Ruth Hanau Santini  and
Please send an abstract by the 25th of February 2018 at the latest. Full chapters will be due by April the 15th.

You are also welcome to contact us informally to discuss your potential contribution.

Below you will find the original call for your reference (and more details about the focus of the book)

Edited Volume

Hybrid Governance in the Middle East and Africa: Informal rule and the limits of statehood

Routledge: Durham Modern Middle East and Islamic World series

Editors: Ruth Hanau Santini, Abel Polese, Rob Kevlihan

This edited volume proposes to investigate the synergies generated by the co-existence, competition and conflict between competing actors of (in)security governance.

Our main focus is on the multi-actor and multi-level nature of security governance across the Middle East and Africa, sidestepping the application of fictitious notions of domestic sovereignty, i.e. consolidated statehood, to be understood as state unitary actorness and absolute monopoly of violence (Krasner 1999; Krasner and Risse 2014). In particular, we expect to investigate, through a number of empirical case studies with strong conceptual components, the interplay between the mixed nature of security actors and the creation of specific security orders.

Moreover, the book aims to analyse relations among actors possessing power (including but not limited to coercive power) over given territories, be they state, non-state, public, private, national and trans-national actors. These forms of power, including the manner in which relations between centralized authorities and social actors create, reflect and reproduce power relations will be explored throughout the various empirical contributions. We seek to understand the implications these dynamics have for populations in terms of human security, conflict management and experiences of violence. Regional and international actors are included in the plethora of security or insecurity-generating actors and will be analysed according to refined understandings of principal-agent relations they enjoy with local state actors, as well as with local populations and the other coercive wielding actors in a given area. Sources of legitimacy for each category of security actor will be particularly scrutinized: a traditionally neglected but increasingly relevant aspect includes local populations’ dynamics of interaction, negotiation and/or resistance vis-à-vis both state and non-state actors exercising coercive power over their territories. The different chapters will attempt to offer food for thought on un-orthodox security conceptions, problematizing the conceptual straightjackets resting upon the concept of unconditional legitimacy of the state having emerged from a struggle to control political institutions and the ensuing identification of state security with citizens’ security, and rather provide alternative conceptualisations of how different political orders can generate completely new security and insecurity dynamics (Krause 1996).

Theoretically, by building on critical literature on statehood and sovereignty we intend to challenge two main paradigms: the Westphalian and the Weberian. The former emphasizes borders’ sanctity as prerogative of modern states, while commonly used understandings of the latter emphasize a static conception of states as sole possessors of monopolies of violence. The idealized “Westphalian state”, which has distinct boundaries and emphasizes the right of non-intervention and borders’ inviolability, has arguably been under attack since the end of the Cold War (Kaldor, 1999; Thakur, 2016). We intend to push the boundary further to enrich debates on the importance of historicizing and contextualizing the different forms and shapes statehood and governance can take (Bierstecker 2013).

While taking the work by Thomas Risse (2013) as a point of departure, we aim at problematizing the Weberian conception of statehood the approach ‘Areas of Limited Statehood’ is based upon. In that approach, namely, statehood is defined as the central authority structure with a (legitimate) monopoly over the means of violence, in a striking line of continuity with the thought of Max Weber, distinguishing territorially or functionally areas of exception to the rule rather than describing other shapes states can take.

In Areas of Limited Statehood (ALS), governance is necessarily multi-level (based on shared sovereignty) and multi-actor (Risse 2013). Limited statehood rejects normative Western and Eurocentric conception à la ‘failed state’ (Rotberg 2003; Rotberg 2004). ALS lack the capacity to implement and enforce central decisions and a monopoly on the use of force. In these areas, we observe a systematic involvement of non-state actors and non-hierarchical modes of steering. The restriction of statehood can occur on different levels: functional or sectoral (only in some policy areas); territorial (only on some parts of the territory); temporal (only for a certain amount of time) and social (only with regard to specific parts of the population). ALS is the opposite not of traditional statehood, but of consolidated statehood. Risse investigates how governance is possible in areas of limited statehood. Criticisms have been directed at him concerning the purely functional logic associated to the provision of public goods and typically governance functions by no matter what actors, be they public or private, state or non-state (Klute and Embalò 2011), as well as to the lack of conceptualisation of any causal logic explaining under which conditions legitimate governance can be achieved in states with limited sovereignty (Coggins 2012). Considerations regarding the power dynamics among actors and the issue of legitimacy of different actors carrying out governance functions are also sidestepped by ALS, something which remains problematic.

What we are interested in, is ascertaining how the nature of the predominant actor shaping the specific features of limited statehood or hybrid sovereignty and their implications in terms of political and security orders. Therefore, we start from the assumption that processes originated by local actors may acquire significance up to the point of playing a major role in the political arena of a state, a region or a sub-unit. A similar reasoning informs our approach to the study of other regional and transnational actors. Areas of limited statehood are characterised by porous borders and informal chains of power and patronage most of the time. Within these governance settings, most of external actors cease to be considered as outsiders, directly affecting power dynamics and socio-economic equilibria within the given policy arena.

The result can include different forms of hybrid governance, including, but not limited to the coexistence of modern and traditional practices of the exercise of power (Bacik 2008). While the clash between different sources of authority and claims of legitimacy can generate tensions and conflicts, the presence of competing actors can lead to a variety of outcomes, going from stratified and yet peaceful systems of authority to cases where the competition is less peaceful, leading to violent struggles between a central authority and insurgent groups. Scholars and practitioners have, since some years already, acknowledged the fact that there is not a single form of governance. Real, informal, insurgent and other words have been used to define non-standard forms of governance that have, insofar, rarely been classified (see Polese et al 2017). This book attempts a conceptualisation of various forms of governance that have often been considered as exceptions rather than norm in a variety of environments. Within heterarchical orders, characterized by multiple rankings of power and multiple actors possessing coercive power, we would distinguish different degrees of intensity of these non-anarchic and non-hierarchical orders.

Our target region has been often affected by a variety of conflicts and turmoil that have made it difficult to understand, or to frame its dynamics under traditional scholarship on political institutions and governance. This book is intended to address that gap by contributing a novel view on a factor that has played a key role in regional politics and development and thus produce valuable intelligence for a better understanding of the region both theoretically and empirically.

Ideally, chapters should tackle one or more of the following questions/aspects and illuminate it through the case study at hand:

*   What is the genealogy of ALS? Is the context-specific area of limited statehood a product of intended behaviour or an unintended consequence? What were the main factors contributing to shaping an area of limited statehood (conflict among groups over resources or territory/ politically relevant elites’ choices/ interference of external actors..)?

*   In ALS, how do power dynamics change among actors? Does it matter and how if it does, who provides for security?

*   Under which conditions do ALS facilitate stabilisation or the emergence of a peaceful political and security order and when do ALS contribute to the emergence or intensification of conflict?

Citer ce billet
Chargé de diffusion scientifique (2018, 7 février). Appel à contributions / ouvrage (anglais) : “Hybrid Governance in the Middle East and Africa: Informal rule and the limits of statehood”, Routledge series – LIMITE : 25/02/2018. IISMM. Consulté le 26 mai 2024, à l’adresse

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