How does power operate among different institutional and societal fields?
How is state violence contested by civil society? How do citizens respond when they feel unprotected, abandoned or attacked by the state? How do people voice concerns and make claims in the streets, or in the courts? How do people negotiate their everyday needs and livelihoods when (private) armed actors control their material and social spaces, and decide their fate? When the state no longer governs, how do rebels rule?
Within the platform Contesting Governance, researchers apply critical perspectives to unravel how power is constituted and how it operates across particular institutional and societal fields.
Interdisciplinary research and dialogue
To address these issues, the platform combines the normative framework of law with the complexity that emerges from grounded empirical research and explores the tensions between them. Aiming to build bridges between international law, anthropology and conflict studies, the research platform finds newness and inspiration in interdisciplinary dialogue, collaboration, and teaching around concepts such as sovereignty, security, governance, violence, human rights, and legitimacy.
With this critical and interdisciplinary exploration of themes relating to institutions, conflict & security, and human rights Contesting Governance connects two dynamic research networks of Utrecht University: the strategic theme Institutions for Open Societies and the Centre for Global Challenges.