Powering institutions – credibility, enforcement and legitimacy
Other conference contribution, 2016

Through analyzing a development project with a relatively successful institution building process, and contrasting it to a less successful project, this paper seeks to make a contribution to the literature on institution building in challenging contexts. It investigates a) how trust in an organization can be built in a context characterized by low levels of generalized trust, high levels of corruption and poor institutions (to the extent that people are prepared to invest in these organizations for long-term gain), and b) can free-riding problems can be handled in a local development project in a way that is both effective and legitimate. The analysis is based on an extensive empirical material, including 119 semi-structured interviews with project staff, villagers, and local and district government. The results point to the importance of a) a positive history of play, sustained over a substantial period of time, b) keeping distance from existing corrupt institutions, c) strict enforcement of the rules of the institution, and d) strict impartiality in enforcement.



renewable energy





Frida Boräng

University of Gothenburg

Helene Ahlborg

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Environmental Systems Analysis

Conference paper. Quality of Government (QoG) Conference, 26-29 January 2016, Nice, France

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Infrastructure Engineering

Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

Areas of Advance


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