News & Events
This open access article in the journal Governance, by DLP senior researcher Claire Mcloughlin, unpacks the theory and evidence on the relationship between service delivery and state legitimacy in fragile and conflict-affected states.
The origins and durability of a state's legitimacy affect the feasibility of development processes and the effectiveness of external aid interventions. In this three-page Brief, senior researcher Claire Mcloughlin unpacks a slippery, yet important, concept.
Senior DLP Research Fellow Alina Rocha Menocal leads a day of training in Basel this week as part of swisspeace's Certificate of Advanced Studies in Fragility, Conflict and Statebuilding.
Dr Heather Marquette leads a team of DLP researchers who will present their work at the OECD this week. They will share findings with two INCAF Task Teams at discussions of the Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals on legitimate politics and on revenues and services.
Suda Perera's ECAS conference paper, 'Within and without the state', shared findings on relations between the state and armed groups in the DRC's Kivu regions.
Can municipal service delivery improve municipal and state legitimacy and foster social cohesion, especially among communities hosting large refugee populations? A new DLP research project working with DFID-assisted programmes in Lebanon and Jordan will explore this question.
Claire Mcloughlin's new open-access article in the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding draws on the case of higher education in Sri Lanka. It explores how unfair service provision can undermine state legitimacy in divided societies.
The Politics of Institutional Indigenization: Leaders, Elites and Coalitions in building appropriate and legitimate institutions for economic growth and social development
It is broadly agreed that ‘good governance’ and sound institutions are necessary for growth and development, but our conventional approaches to governance reform are not working. What explains this now widespread failure of institutions, which have been transferred from developed to developing countries to take root and prosper?
This Concept Brief offers a concise introduction to the core elements of 'state legitimacy'. It addresses four questions: How is the concept of legitimacy best understood? Why is it important? How do states accrue legitimacy? And what policy implications follow from this?
Even where there are no functioning state structures, few societies remain ungoverned. This paper surveys the literature on development and non-state actors. It sets out the evidence for the merits of engaging politically with NSAs by incorporating them into governance and statebuilding programmes, and examines the challenges this may pose.
This paper notes that the evidence suggests truly inclusive political settlements will need to involve any non-state actors able to exercise significant economic, political, or social influence on the development process, regardless of whether this influence is positive or negative.
The provision of public services typically involves many actors, state and non-state, at different phases of the process. The variety of interfaces between the state and the private sector can have important implications – for how services are delivered and who benefits, for the balance of power, for state legitimacy, and for accountability. This paper seeks to understand the conditions in which different institutional arrangements for public service provision produce developmental outcomes.
This paper finds that most services are provided by multiple actors, although the combinations of roles and modes of interaction vary. There is strong evidence that public-private partnerships work best where there is a good fit with local norms and expectations – legitimacy – and structured relationships with institutions that can monitor providers and have the independence to do so.
This paper carves a path through the sprawling debate on the meaning and measurement of state legitimacy, and sets out a political approach to researching it. The paper also provides an analytical framework that applies this political approach to a key question for state-building practitioners and legitimacy scholars: whether, when and why service delivery supports or undermines state legitimacy.
State legitimacy is an important concept for understanding power and politics, yet research on it has been surprisingly apolitical. Explaining legitimation and de-legitimation requires attention to political structures, ideas and agency – in particular, to the expectations established through the social contract, the nature of the political settlement, and how legitimacy claims are made and contested in public discourse.
In this article in Governance, Claire Mcloughlin takes stock of the theory and evidence on the relationship between service delivery and state legitimacy in fragile and conflict-affected states, challenging common assumptions.
This annotated bibliography identifies academic and more policy-oriented literature about the relationship between service delivery and state legitimacy, social cohesion and social stability.
This paper explores the role of public service provision in undermining state legitimacy. It analyses why higher education aggravated a dual crisis of the legitimacy of the Sri Lankan state during the critical juncture of 1956-1974.
This two-page brief draws on an in-depth case study of higher education and processes of state (de-)legitimation over three decades in Sri Lanka.
When the Virtuous Circle Unravels: Unfair Service Provision and State De-legitimation in Divided Societies
This open access article in the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding highlights the importance of people's perceptions of fairness in service delivery.