Structures, Political Cultures and Social Practices
Formalization of the Informal: Statebuilding in Armenia
The study of informal governance, a new and rapidly developing field, is still delineating its scope and laying its main theoretical foundations. The relative immaturity of the field is reflected in the fact that it continues to call its very existence into question, debating the utility of the study of informal governance institutions or, more generally, of “informalities”, a term loosely used to describe the entire gamut of relationships, actors, institutions and procedures that affect governance but are not formally prescribed by legal documents or official regulations. There is an ongoing scientific discussion of whether “informal institutions” meet the wider criteria for “institutions” and, if so, whether informal institutions as opposed to formal ones represent a separate phenomenon that can be defined in scientific terms and is worthy of focused study (Christiansen and Neuhold, 2012). Within this debate, the question arises of distinguishing informality from culture in general, and elaborating criteria for discriminating informal institutions from formal ones (North, 1990). In this chapter, I will use the neoinstitutionalist approach to informality, which I believe serves best to describe the case in hand.
Parallel to the theoretical debates, the empirical body of research on informal governance has been rapidly growing due to studies conducted by scholars representing various disciplines, from political science to law and anthropology, in a wide variety of political, geographical and societal settings. Although the empirical data remain heterogeneous and do not always lend themselves to comparison due to numerous gaps...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.