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date: 04 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The governance problem arises when society lacks an ‘ultimate’ authority able to regulate competition and limit conflict between social actors. A variant of the cycling problem in social choice theory, the governance problem can be potentially solved by one of several modes. This chapter focuses on two related modes, coercion and trusteeship, in which a dominant group within society or an external power, respectively, imposes a policy and set of institutions on society. The first section examines the governance problem in areas of limited statehood. The second section outlines the role for the state in solving the governance problem, and how states emerged as successful actors in the now consolidated states of Europe. The third section explores coercion and trusteeship as solutions to the governance problem. It concludes with the somewhat pessimistic argument that trusteeship, though perhaps preferred on normative grounds, is unlikely to succeed in building strong, consolidated states.

Keywords: governance, sovereignty, state-building, coercion, trusteeship

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