Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 28 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter serves to introduce the central concepts of the handbook, to briefly delineate its contributions to the state of the art, and to lay out the rationale behind its various sections. We begin by discussing the central concepts of the handbook, ‘limited statehood’ and ‘governance’. We argue that ‘areas of limited statehood’ where central state authorities lack the capacity to uphold the monopoly over the means of violence and/or to enforce the law, can be found everywhere and are not confined to what the literature erroneously calls ‘fragile’ or ‘failed’ states. However, areas of limited statehood are neither ungovernable nor ungoverned. Instead, we find an enormous variation that includes badly governed places but also ‘good governance’ in areas of limited statehood. If institutions are flexible enough to adapt to local conditions, effective and legitimate governance is likely to emerge where people trust each other and accept their ‘governors’.

Keywords: areas of limited statehood, governance, legitimacy, effectiveness, statehood, social trust, institutions

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.