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Learning to Share: Explaining the Conditions under Which States Delegate Governance


  • Aila M. Matanock


A potential solution for weak or failing states is to enact a delegation agreement whereby a host relinquishes authority over some governance function to an external actor. Through case studies in Melanesia, I find that these arrangements can be implemented as treaties, rather than contracts, so that the external actor remains somewhat exempt from the normal procedure or law of the host state. I also generate hypotheses about the conditions under which host states and external actors enact these self-enforcing equilibria: host states request these agreements either where a major law and order problem leads to a loss of monopoly on the use of force, or where extortion or corruption leads to budgetary crisis. External actors agree to them only under the latter circumstances since this makes the reputational and actual costs of the mission lower, as judged against alternative methods for resolving the problem, and where that state also poses a specific transnational security threat.

Suggested Citation

  • Aila M. Matanock, 2009. "Learning to Share: Explaining the Conditions under Which States Delegate Governance," Working Papers 181, Center for Global Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:181

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    Cited by:

    1. Julien Barbara, 2014. "From Intervention to Partnership—Prospects for Development Partnership in Solomon Islands after the RAMSI," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 395-408, May.

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    weak states; fragile states; sovereignty; governance; Melanesia; external actors; delegation; intervention;

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