This study focuses on an actor commonly overlooked in discussions of governance. Non-state actors such as rebels, warlords and militia leaders can and have been engaged with providing governance to their 'constituents'. A primary challenge we identify is a current lack of empirical evidence concerning the practical dynamics of rebel governance, including the interactions between separate rebel groups, the state, other non-state actors and relevant international actors. In doing so, our proposed project seeks to understand the nature of rebel governance and how it operates in real life, as well as to identify sources of de-legitimation for rebel groups, including intangible, symbolic sources, and mimicry of state institutions. This research looks at the resultant range of governance practices and institutions in different contexts of rebel-controlled territory. By carrying out in-depth studies in Sri Lanka and Lebanon, this project contributes to academic and policy debates on governance in so called 'fragile states' and potential reassessment of rebel actors.
Niels Terpstra MA Prof. Dr. Georg Frerks
Boukje Kistemaker MA Prof. Dr. Isabelle Duyvesteyn
Centre for Conflict Studies, Centre for Humanities
Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands