The term 'extra-legal governance' refers to structures and institutions which regulate economic and social activity but are outside the law. Extra-legal governance might emerge because the state is ineffective at providing legal protection, or because informal structures are simply better equipped to perform this role. Alternatively, it might arise as a way of regulating behaviour in situations where parties deliberately avoid state institutions, as in the case of settling disputes arising from illicit deals.

Extra-legal governance can be provided by such diverse entities as the family, the church, the social network, community elders, and criminal gangs.

The Extra-Legal Governance Institute aims to support, promote and disseminate high quality research, by both its members and others in the academic community. We seek to achieve this through teaching, organising events that bring together scholars from different disciplines, and by gathering and organising resources for the study of extra-legal governance and making them available to scholars. Our flagship project is the creation of a digital archive of confessions and memoirs by members of organised crime.

This is a collaborative and resource-intensive effort. We welcome the support of others who have an interest in this venture. If you would like to support our work, to apply for a Visiting Fellowship or internship, or would just like to find out more, please get in touch using the Contact form.


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