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date: 25 February 2021

(p. v) Preface

(p. v) Preface

Putting together this handbook took several years and we have to thank many people who helped us along the way. The handbook covers more than a decade of interdisciplinary research on governance in areas of limited statehood. It tries to represent the state of the art and to move the research agenda away from ill-conceived notions of ‘fragile’ or ‘failed’ states, and from the Western bias of developed and consolidated statehood that still informs a lot of research on the global South. At the same time, this handbook can only be an interim step in a broader research agenda; we, as well as our authors, identify important research gaps to be tackled in the future (see Chapter 1 Börzel et al., this volume).

Much of the research reported in this handbook began in the framework of the Collaborative Research Centre (Sonderforschungsbereich/SFB) 700 ‘Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood’, which has been generously funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG—Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) between 2006 and 2017. Many of this handbook’s authors have been working at the research centre, started their work in Berlin and then moved on, or have been affiliated with our centre for several years. Other authors we just invited to contribute to this handbook, given their expertise in areas important to us.

Inspirations for this handbook came from two other Oxford handbooks. The first is the Oxford Handbook of the Transformations of the State (Leibfried et al. 2015), which originated from the Bremen-based Collaborative Research Centre ‘Transformations of the State’ and which Stephan Leibfried co-edited. Our own endeavour owes a lot to Stephan. The second inspiration came from the Oxford Handbook of Comparative Regionalism (Börzel and Risse 2016), which we—that is, Börzel and Risse—co-edited. Without the encouragement of Dominic Byatt, our editor at Oxford University Press, we might not have taken on yet another publication of this magnitude.

This new handbook came together during two conferences also funded by the DFG, which took place in Berlin on 22–23 April 2016, and 17–18 February 2017. The two meetings proved to be a tremendous learning exercise, helping us as editors and our authors to produce what we hope is a coherent volume. We are extremely grateful to all authors and the participants to the workshops for their insights, their spirited criticisms, as well as their openness when engaging with our conceptual framework. Moreover, these conferences would not have been possible without the top organizational skills of the SFB’s one and only ‘Team Z’, particularly Max Westbrock, Jan Harrs, and Markus Sattler. ‘Team Z’ has been led by the SFB’s management team, namely Eric Stollenwerk, our terrific managing director (see also Chapter 6 Stollenwerk, this volume), and Anne (p. vi) Hehn, our equally excellent chief administrator. Eric also provided a new data set on governance and limited statehood, which some of our authors used in their chapters (Stollenwerk and Opper 2017).

In addition, our heartfelt ‘thank you’ goes to the student assistants Sarah Barasa, Tanja Friesen, Sophie Frossard, Darya Kulinka, Lukas Müller-Wünsch, Helena Rietmann, Markus Sattler, and Onno Steenweg, for checking references, formatting chapters, proof-reading, and the like. Last but not least, this handbook would not have been possible without the continuous support of the superb professional team at Oxford University Press. As mentioned above, we are especially grateful to Dominic Byatt for his encouragement and continuous support. Special thanks also go to Olivia Wells who guided us and the handbook throughout the editing process. Finally, we are grateful to Anya Hastwell for excellent copy-editing, Eilidh McGregor for accurate proof-reading, Cathryn Pritchard for doing the index, as well as Kiruthika at Newgen for the entire production and publication management.

Thomas Risse—Tanja A. Börzel—Anke Draude

Berlin, Germany, June 2017

Börzel, Tanja A., and Thomas Risse, eds. 2016. The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Regionalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Find this resource:

Leibfried, Stephan, Evelyn Huber, Matthew Lange, Jonah D. Levy, Frank Nullmeier, and John D. Stevens, eds. 2015. The Oxford Handbook of Transformations of the State. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Find this resource:

Stollenwerk, Eric, and Jan Opper. 2017. The Governance and Limited Statehood Dataset, version March 2017. SFB 700. Freie Universität Berlin. URL: