Layered Authority

2018 Annual GLD Conference 

31 May - 1 June 2018

Gothenburg, Sweden


Photo: President Jacob Zuma arrives in Parliament to address the official opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders                                                                                                         (NHTL) in Parliament, Cape Town. (Photo: GCIS)



The Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD) at the University of Gothenburg will hold its second annual conference on May 31 - June 1, 2018 with the theme, "Layered Authority." In contexts where the state is weak, scholars have highlighted the importance of traditional authorities and other non-state actors when it comes to dispute resolution, tax collection, and a variety of other functions. And yet citizens abiding by traditional authorities in some domains may encounter state authorities in others -- for instance, if they send their children to public school or seek care from public hospitals. Moreover, the authority of state and non-state actors may overlap in ways that can create confusion or cause conflict -- for example, when it comes to land titling. Even in contexts where the state is seen as quite strong (i.e., upper- and middle-income countries) people may defer to religious authorities and other non-state entities when it comes to making decisions about marriage, schooling, and funeral rites. The tension that can arise between state and non-state authorities in the West is evidenced by recent legal battles over same-sex marriage, access to contraceptives, and abortion. We seek to showcase research that examines the ways in which different authorities interact, and the extent to which they complement or clash with each other. We also wish to understand how such interactions affect governance more broadly -- at the community as well as the state level. We aim to stimulate dialogue on such questions among scholars, policymakers, and other members of the development community.



Arken Hotel & Art Garden Spa

Nordatlanten 100

418 34 Göteborg




 * Participants already pre-registered for this event do not need to register again.