Political Science Now

Theme Panel: Legitimate Authority in Conflict-Ridden States

Legitimate Authority in Conflict-Ridden States

For many conflict-ridden societies, a central challenge is that the state is not seen as legitimate among the very citizens it is meant to rule, and there is a lack of trust and confidence in the state as ‘the only authority in town.’ Indeed, the state itself may, by some, be seen as responsible for the war in the first place, state agents may have been committing atrocities against civilians, and other sources of authority, to whom citizens turn for their everyday strategies of survival, may be emerging in its place. The logic of the security dilemma tells us that in the absence of a legitimate state authority, we are likely to spirals of violence as groups and individuals within the state (think they) have to fend for themselves—which is a challenge that may persist long after the war comes to an end, particularly where it leads to simmering secessionist conflicts.

Participants:
Govinda Clayton, University of Kent (Chair)
Bridget Coggins, University of California, Santa Barbara (Discussant)
Megan A. Stewart, University of Virginia (Discussant)

Papers:
Legitimacy in Conflict Processes
Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham, University of Maryland, College Park (Author)
Peggy McWeeney, University of Maryland, College Park (Non-Presenting Co-Author)

Peace Agreements and State Authority: Guatemala, Nepal, and Northern Ireland
Kristin Marie Bakke, University College London (Author)
Karin Dyrstad, SINTEF Techonology and society (Non-Presenting Co-Author)
Helga Malmin Binningsbo, Peace Research Institute Oslo (Non-Presenting Co-Author)

(In)Security and the State: The Police as Solutions to and Sources of Violence
Milli Lake, Arizona State University (Author)

Pathways to Secession: Legitimation, Coercion, and Self-Determination
Lee Seymour, Leiden University (Author)