Legacy Institutions and Political Order in Weak States: Evidence from Chad

My dissertation 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 formal modeling, ethnographic techniques and a survey experiment in peripheral regions of Chad.


Working Papers:

Chad’s Army, its Unwritten Institutions, and its Roles in Military Interventions in Mali and Nigeria

National Vote, Local Conflict: The Isolated Violence of Cameroon’s 1992 Election

Legacy Institutions: A Concept for when ‘Traditional’ and ‘Informal’ Do Not Fit


Camel sale register from livestock market, dated 1979, Sultanate of Ouaddaï