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State Formation Through the Local Production of Property and Citizenship

Objective

The key concern of the proposed research is how political power is established and reproduced through the production of the fundamental social contracts of property and citizenship. We will re-define the research on so-called failed and weak states, by examining what political authority is actually exercised rather than measuring how they fall short of theoretical ideals.

In developing countries with legal and institutional pluralism, no single institution exercises the political authority as such. Different institutions compete to define and enforce rights to property and citizenship. This is most visible at the local level, yet it has implications for theorizing the state as such. Hence, investigating the social production of property and citizenship is a way to study state formation. We study local institutions that exercise political authority and govern access to resources, and recognition of these rights. What institution guarantees what claims as rights, and, especially, how, is crucial, as it leads to the recognition of that particular institution as a political authority. We therefore study statutory as well as non-statutory institutions. We are not simply looking for property deeds and passports etc. issued by statutory government as measurements of political authority. Rather, we look for secondary forms of recognition ‘issued’ by non-statutory institutions that represent mutual acknowledgements of claims even without a narrow legal endorsement. Dynamics such as these are fundamental for a concise understanding of developing country state formation processes.

Ten country studies with rural and urban field sites will be conducted. We focus on concrete controversies. We collect data at several levels and from different sources, including resident groups, land users, local civil servants, local politicians and business-owners, as well as large-scale contractors, municipal politicians and administrators.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Host institution

KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET

Address

Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn

Denmark

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 2 469 285

Beneficiaries (1)

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KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET

Denmark

EU Contribution

€ 2 469 285

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 662770

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 January 2016

  • End date

    31 December 2020

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 469 285

  • EU contribution

    € 2 469 285

Hosted by:

KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET

Denmark