Research Conference, Linköping 2009
Post-Crisis States Transformation
Rethinking the Foundations of the State
The venue of this conference was Scandic Linköping Väst, Linköping in Sweden between the 1st and 5th May 2009 The format of this conference was the presentation of up to 50 short papers, plenary sessions and round table discussions.
The focus of this conference is the question of the model of the state and its transformation. Rather than taking as its starting point a model based on the Weberian concept of the state, this conference has as an aim to encourage debate around the concept of a transformation of the state founded on the expectations and needs of the population.
It is not just at a state level that governance structures are created; when as state fails at national level it does not leave a complete vacuum. Instead lower level structures continue or begin to function to fill the gap left by the state. These structures can be remnants of the former State administration, revitalized traditional authorities, religious courts, local businessmen, etc.
We believe it is these structures that hold the key to understanding legitimate power, and ultimately a stable state in a particular context as no political system can be imposed in the long term. A key question during the conference therefore was how to assist in the (trans)formation of States so that they can function in the interests of populations at local, national and international level.
The sessions were focussed on the following issues:
• Configuration of actors and post-crisis State transformation
• Trajectories of post-crisis State formation
• Connecting Nation and State in diversified societies
• Elections, democratisation and their effects on State consolidation
• Central powers in search of renewed legitimacy
• Criteria for working States
• Empirical approaches to State performance
• Is State formation still an agenda? What alternatives to Nation-State?