Institutionalizing a Weak State: Law and Jurisdictional Conflict between Bureaucratic and Communal Institutions in the Albanian Highlands
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 June 2015
Why do some states fail to establish the capacity of legal regulation among significant sections of their population, and instead allow alternative norms of social order to take the place of those promoted by the state? Existing models of state building in the sociological literature treat the building of modern bureaucratic authority as a political process in which weak state authority results from a state's inability to defeat rival bases of power. On the other hand, neo-institutionalist theory highlights the significant effects that institutional environments have on organization building, but its elaborations of state building have mainly emphasized processes of the diffusion of world society models as central to the making of the modern nation-state. Both models fail to explain how limitations in new states' capacities to govern populations emerge in cases when states fulfill conditions specified by each model. I use the case of state building in the Albanian highlands to show that jurisdictional struggles and resistance that emerge out of distinct cultures of legality are key to understanding why organizationally capable states may fail to establish durable mechanisms of governance among marginal social groups.
- Research Article
- Comparative Studies in Society and History , Volume 57 , Issue 3 , July 2015 , pp. 637 - 664
- Copyright © Society for the Comparative Study of Society and History 2015