- The Oxford Handbook of Governance and Limited Statehood
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Contributors
- Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood: Conceptual Clarifications and Major Contributions of the Handbook
- Theories of Development and Areas of Limited Statehood
- A Historical-Sociological Perspective on Statehood
- Anthropological Perspectives on the Limits of the State
- Critical Approaches
- Measuring Governance and Limited Statehood
- Histories of Governance
- A Global History of Governance
- Geographies of Limited Statehood
- External State Actors
- INGOs and Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships
- ‘Traditional’ Authorities
- Violent and Criminal Non-State Actors
- Coercion and Trusteeship
- Hierarchical and Non-Hierarchical Coordination
- Brokerage, Intermediation, Translation
- Social Trust
- Foreign Aid
- Human Rights, the Rule of Law, and Democracy
- Food Security
- Environmental and Natural Resources
- International Legal Order
- Normative Political Theory
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This contribution explores the role of ‘traditional’ authorities in governance arrangements and how the term ‘tradition’ was used and constructed by local as well as external actors. First, it outlines how tradition was previously discussed and eventually deconstructed in scholarly debates. Second, it looks at how tradition is conceived as an emic notion in the social sciences today, in particular in anthropology and sociology, and how it is used as a legitimizing claim to the past by political actors in areas of limited statehood in West and East Africa. Third, its role in settings of legal pluralism where ‘traditional’ or ‘customary’ norms are recognized parallel to civil law is examined. The fourth section develops a more theoretical perspective on ‘traditional’ authorities and processes of political articulation in governance arrangements. Finally, the contribution concludes by outlining the relevance of this approach for a post-structuralist social theory of governance.
Till Förster is professor and chair of anthropology at the University of Basel, Switzerland.
Lucy Koechlin is senior lecturer at the chair of anthropology, University of Basel, Switzerland.
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