Politics and International Relations
This paper presents a new research agenda and theoretical framework laid out in the research project “Contested Global Governance, Transformed Global Governors? International Organisations and “Weak” States” (GLOBALCONTEST). The paper (1) maps out ongoing contestations of global governance interventions of international organizations (IOs) in ostensibly “weak” states and (2) explores impact of such contestations on IOs themselves. Unlike most existing studies of IOs and their governance generating activities that focus only on their impact on “the field” and “local” actors, this paper shifts attention to the influences that “local” actors and “the field” project on IOs. The paper is interested in possible transformations of IOs at micro (individual practices and discourses), meso (organisational practices and discourses in the field) and macro (organisational practices and discourses beyond the field) levels. It specifically engages with the literature that critically examines the notions of “failed” and “fragile” states. On par with this theoretical agenda, the paper seeks to problematize a normatively loaded understanding of global governance as “good governance”. Empirically, the paper investigates global governance contestations in such fields as migration, gender and health in two “post-Soviet” Central Asian states that have been often labelled as “fragile”, “weak” or “awkward” – Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.