GovInn Working Paper 02/2019: Innovating governance – integrating judicial systems in hybrid political orders: A case study of justice practices in the Namibian Erongo Region

The second GovInn Working Paper of 2019, by Erika Dahlmanns and Cori Wielenga, looks at integrating judicial systems in hybrid political orders, with as case study the Namibian Erongo Region. This paper is interested in dynamics arising from the attempt of the Namibian government to integrate the formerly “informal”, tradition-based community courts into the state’s justice system to understand how hybrid political orders and their integration stipulate or obstruct governance innovation and what this might suggest in terms of responding to governance challenges in the field of justice and conflict resolution typical to states in Africa.

Central to the functioning of the African state is the reality of parallel and hybrid political orders which are manifest in the so called “informal”, including economic, trade and governance systems which operate alongside the state. These generate governance challenges that African governments and local actors have dealt with in innovative ways, including in the field of justice, which is the particular interest of this paper.

In this paper, we are interested in dynamics arising from the attempt of the Namibian government to integrate the formerly “informal”, tradition-based community courts into the state’s justice system to understand how hybrid political orders and their integration stipulate or obstruct governance innovation and what this might suggest in terms of responding to governance challenges in the field of justice and conflict resolution typical to states in Africa.

 

To read the full working paper, download the document here.