LOCAL GOVERNANCE AND STATEHOOD IN THE AMU DARYA BORDER REGION (AFGHANISTAN, TAJIKISTAN, UZBEKISTAN)
Analysis of institutional arrangements and development trajectories
In international relations the state is considered a stabilising model of organisation. Regions not permeated by the state are labelled fragile and are hence considered security risks. In these regions the sphere of influence of the state is often confined to the capital or few urban centres, whereas on the local level state institutions cannot establish supreme legitimacy. The border region of the Amu Darya is situated in the periphery of national influence, wherefore the analysis of its local structures provides helpful insights into the historically grown conditions of statehood and the chances for stability in the region. The relations between formal (state-run) institutions and informal rules form the focus of the project at hand. Starting points for the research are the historical similarities in the politically and socially once coherent region of the Amu Darya.
The aim of this research project is to identify the perspectives of statehood in the border region of Amu Darya (northeast Afghanistan, southeast Uzbekistan and southwest Tajikistan). The study is focused on the analysis of the reciprocal relationships of local governance and the exertion of influence on behalf of the state in the context of fragile statehood.
An international research team, consisting of six members, will investigate the relationships between formal (state-run) and informal (community based) institutions, focusing on the governance dimensions of security, jurisdiction, administration as well as natural resources management.
The research project is funded by Volkswagen Foundation. It started in April 2005 and is supposed to end in summer 2011.