Tobias Berger and Milli Lake
This chapter examines the promotion of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy by external actors in areas of limited statehood. It begins with the definition of key terms and a brief overview of the historical trajectory in which contemporary interventions by external actors unfold. We then discuss cross-cutting issues and introduce the key actors involved in the promotion of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy. Analysing each of these issue areas in turn, we make three overarching arguments. Firstly, we highlight the multiplicity of outcomes that result from external interventions, whose impacts prove highly unevenly and spatially dispersed. Secondly, we emphasize the crucial influence of local actors and pre-existing institutions in shaping the outcomes of any governance intervention. Finally, we note that external actors have tended to rely on state-centric conceptualizations of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.
This chapter takes stock of the main scholarly and policy debates pertaining to the rise of violent and criminal governors. First, it delves into the reasons that drive these actors towards investing in governance; emphasizing the usefulness of governance provision to extract resources, enhance control, built legitimacy, and fulfil state-building aspirations. Second, the chapter briefly accounts for the main variations in the types of governance configurations established by criminal and violent actors, focusing on when and where these actors act as governors; what types of services they are likely to provide and to whom, as well as on how governance itself is delivered. This cursory examination, along with an analysis of the relationships these groups build while acting as governors, allows us to reflect on the impact of these non-state governors on the civilian population under their rule, as well as on the notions of sovereignty and statehood more broadly.