Paul Thissen

Fellowship Recipient
Department: Political Science
Country Expertise: Chad
Language Expertise:

Fellowship: FLAS - Academic Year
Fellowship Year(s): 2013
Language: Arabic
Fellowship Year(s): 2016
Project/Theme Title: Legacy Institutions and Political Order in Weak States
Abstracts: This project investigates variation in the ability of non-state institutions to produce political order in weak states. In some places, chieftaincies, clans, sultanates, or kingdoms perform many of the functions of a state: enforcing legal codes, collecting taxes, guaranteeing property rights, and ensuring security. The leaders of some such institutions demonstrate an impressive command over their followers. Yet in other places, residents feel free to disobey their leaders with impunity. My project asks: Why are leaders of some non-state institutions able to command compliance from their followers while others are not? To address this question, my project employs ethnographic techniques, data collection from historical manuscript records, and a survey experiment in Pperipheral regions of Chad, which ranked sixth on the 2015 Fragile States Index.