The department is a lively community that is recognised internationally as one of the top centres for research and teaching in development studies.
Illicit orders in global governance: the institutionalization of authority in territories of limited statehood
Christopher’s research focusses on ‘illicit authority’ and ‘para-states’ in the developing world and the challenges these pose for state-perpetrated governance in territories outside direct state control.
By comparatively analyzing the political, social, and economic institutions of several developing countries, he intends to contribute to our understanding of the emergence of alternative governance structures and informal economies that are sustained by illicit non-state actors. In turn, he attempts to identify how these illicit politico-economic institutional structures can compete with, and at worst surmount, the prevalent state’s authority within given territories, thus permitting the creation of ‘para-states’.
By investigating how such niches or ‘black spots’ are constructed, Christopher hopes to identify how policies on the local, state, and international levels and efforts led by public and private actors can effectively address issues of extra-legal governance in a sustainable manner.