For readers who think the world is steadily moving toward the Westphalian ideal of a universal system of sovereign states, this book will be a revelation. For readers who despair at the chronic problem of weak and failing states, this book contains intriguing ideas about alternative forms of stable governance.
Governance Without a State?: Policies and Politics in Areas of Limited Statehoodby Thomas Risse
Governance discourse centers on an "ideal type" of modern statehood that exhibits full internal and external sovereignty and a legitimate monopoly on the use of force. Yet modern statehood is an anomaly, both historically and within the contemporary international system, while the condition of "limited statehood," wherein countries lack the capacity to implement… See more details below
Governance discourse centers on an "ideal type" of modern statehood that exhibits full internal and external sovereignty and a legitimate monopoly on the use of force. Yet modern statehood is an anomaly, both historically and within the contemporary international system, while the condition of "limited statehood," wherein countries lack the capacity to implement central decisions and monopolize force, is the norm. Limited statehood, argue the authors in this provocative collection, is in fact a fundamental form of governance, immune to the forces of economic and political modernization.
Challenging common assumptions about sovereign states and the evolution of modern statehood, particularly the dominant paradigms supported by international relations theorists, development agencies, and international organizations, this volume explores strategies for effective and legitimate governance within a framework of weak and ineffective state institutions. Approaching the problem from the perspectives of political science, history, and law, contributors explore the factors that contribute to successful governance under conditions of limited statehood. These include the involvement of nonstate actors and nonhierarchical modes of political influence. Empirical chapters analyze security governance by nonstate actors, the contribution of public-private partnerships to promote the United Nations Millennium Goals, the role of business in environmental governance, and the problems of Western state-building efforts, among other issues. Recognizing these forms of governance as legitimate, the contributors clarify the complexities of a system the developed world must negotiate in the coming century.
Columbia University Press
Written with force and coherence, this superb volume offers a compelling critique and alternative to mainstream social science approaches and will be a landmark in the study of the evolution of sovereignty and the nature of collective action.
Theoretically and empirically ambitious, Governance Without the State? represents a major contribution to international relations and comparative politics. This volume makes several important contributions. It suggests that 'limited statehood' is neither abnormal nor undesirable, but in fact might be more common than 'complete' statehood and better able to meet the actual needs of people in this globalizing age. It directs our attention to the overlapping and multiple actors involved in meeting our basic needs, producing our common rules, and steering our common polity. Finally, it suggests that students of global governance and advanced industrial and post-industrial countries have a lot to learn from areas of limited statehood. Highly recommended for all students of governance.
This innovative collection shows that limited statehood, which is pervasive, does not mean an absence of governance. Understanding how this governance is provided is one of the major research and policy challenges of our time. Governance Without A State? opens a path to understanding the variety of ways in which governance occurs, even when the capacity of the state is feeble. An agenda-setting study.
On the whole, this is an intriguing first foray into a research area that will undoubtedly bear fruit.
- Columbia University Press
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- 18 Years
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Meet the Author
Thomas Risse is professor of international politics at the Freie Universität Berlin and director of the Collaborative Research Center's "Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood" project. He has taught at Cornell University, Yale University, Stanford University, and Harvard University, as well as at the European University Institute in Florence and at the University of Konstanz in Germany.
Columbia University Press
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