Contesting conventional assumptions of the modern nation-state, this book challenges us to rethink the segmentation of the political realm and its underlying economic and social processes.

Cognizant of the historical context of systemic change, Lilyblad reconstructs how illicit social order arises from agonistic competition over territory, authority, and institutions. Immersive empirical investigation traces this bottom-up process in local conflict zones, detailing how spontaneous configurations of violence, socioeconomic resources, and legitimacy transcend the divide between public and private. Ultimately, the analytical vantage of global governance assesses the sobering implications for sovereignty to more accurately reflect the world we have, not the one we may want.

By showing how these inherently local illicit social orders develop apart from – not below – the state within a global anarchic society, this book will be of interest to a wide range of scholars, including political scientists, economists, sociologists, geographers, as well as researchers in interdisciplinary fields such as International Development, International Political Economy, and Global Governance.


Part I – Introduction  1. Modernity and the Global Framework of Sovereignty  Part II – Concepts and Theory  2. Sovereignty, Territory, and Debordering  3. Local Agony and Competition for Authority 4. Institutions and "Illicit " Social Order  Part III – Empirical Investigation  5. Globalization and Localized Fragility in Brazil  6. Territory and Coercive Violence  7. Socioeconomic Resources 8. Social Legitimacy and Collective Identity 9. Authority, Institutions, and the Constitution of Social Order Part IV – Conclusion  10. Illicit Social Order and Global Governance