chapter  1
26 Pages

Modernity and the global framework of sovereignty

ByChristopher Marc Lilyblad

Any explanation of the constitution of illicit social orders requires at least a rudimentary understanding of the ‘forces of globalization’ that undermine state-enacted order within particular territorial domains, leading to fragility and fragmentation. This introductory chapter therefore portrays how, on its march towards modernity, the unconsolidated and, at times, counterproductive sovereign-territorial international order left behind fragile local territories. Within these spaces, preexisting social fabrics were either undermined or entirely new ones created, offering niches conducive to exploitation by illicit authorities. Any explanation of the constitution of illicit social orders requires a contextual analysis of these ‘forces of globalization’ leading to fragility and fragmentation, especially increasing complexity, intensity, and interdependence of social interactions that undermine pretenses to state sovereignty within particular territorial domains. Nevertheless, the processes of globalization affecting a given local arena as well as the sequence in which they occur will necessarily be context-specific, thus posing a significant challenge to their analysis in purely abstract terms. 1 Rather than making direct causal claims therefore, it suffices to recognize how it is only within this historically cognizant framework of globalization and modernity that it is possible to elucidate the broader context within which contemporary ‘illicit social orders’ arise. Based on this contextualization and framing, the remainder of the introductory chapter offers an outline of the book and its original contributions to the literature (see above), including the conceptual and theoretical framework, empirical fieldwork in the favelas, as well as the epistemological and methodological approach.