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Title: The constitution of illicit orders
Author: Lilyblad, Christopher Marc
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 5525
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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Within the context of a modern globalizing world, this thesis investigates governance in fragile areas where unconsolidated territorial-sovereign statehood offers niches for 'illicit' forms of social order to develop. Through recursive theoretical and empirical research rooted in the 'abductive' method of Pragmatism, the analysis has three overarching objectives: First, it offers a different conceptual approach by moving away from negative categorization of the phenomena, e.g. failed states, ungoverned spaces, limited statehood etc., towards a positive conceptualization, i.e. illicit orders. By casting off the legal-rational, sovereign-territorial lens, the pursuant conceptual reconfiguration of territory, authority, and institutions recognizes and more directly conveys the existence of local social organization apart from the modern state via the agency of social groups acting in violation of domestic and/or international legal norms, rules, and institutions. Second, it seeks to explain the constitution of 'illicit orders' by offering a sociologically-cognizant analytical framework capable of elucidating the 'micro' processes inherent to governance in territories where state institutions remain nominal and ineffective. Based on insights from theoretically-informed empirical fieldwork in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's favelas, I maintain that inter-subjective relations of authority can be produced when a given actor asserts predominance in three co-constitutive domains; namely, organized violence, socioeconomic security, and social legitimacy. Resultant authority then gives rise to the 'structuration' of norms, rules, and institutions, which also recursively reinforces the institutionalization of authority - a process inherent to the constitution of social order in these circumscribed territories. Third, it provides an understanding of how inherently local 'illicit orders' at once form part of a diffuse mosaic of social, political, and economic structures that collectively constitute 'global society', while simultaneously existing in dramatic juxtaposition to the Western-led 'international order' of states within it. Such an understanding purports to further challenge 'neoutilitarian' and 'macro-structural' theoretical approaches predominant in contemporary International Relations discourses.
Supervisor: Gledhill, John ; Hall, Rod Sponsor: University of Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sociology ; International Relations ; Political Science ; Organized Crime ; Institutions ; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ; Non-State Actors ; Authority ; Social Order ; Sovereignty