Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Global Governance


School of International Policy and Governance

First Advisor

Alistair Edgar

Advisor Role

Assistant Dean, SIPG

Second Advisor

Timothy Donais


This dissertation defines and explores the concept of inclusive governance, highlighting linkages between inclusion in governance, legitimacy, and peace. Focusing specifically on the inclusion of traditional, local systems of governance in state government, I explore the unique role traditional institutions have as a bridge between the communities they serve and the government. I examine the relationship between governance, quality of inclusion, legitimacy, and sustainable peace through case studies, challenging prevailing narratives and conceptualizing inclusive governance through a reflexive analysis of existing literature, theory, and empirical evidence.

I offer a case study analysis of Uganda highlighting the relationship between state government and traditional governance structures with the aim of understanding governance systems, further placing this analysis within the context of the relationship between governance and peace, using two other African states – Botswana and Zambia – which, unlike Uganda, have not experienced violent conflict post-independence. The case studies offer insights into the importance of formal, legal integration, as well as the informal, soft powers of traditional institutions. I offer a perspective defined by context and historical and cultural circumstances, discussing inclusive governance as a spectrum in which the goal is meaningful participation and quality inclusion which would allow traditional institutions to have influence in shaping policy. Finally, I look at implications and critical points at which change might be possible, both for national and international actors working toward inclusive governance for the sake of sustaining peace.

My work contributes to the literature on governance and inclusion, filling two significant gaps in scholarly literature: the study of inclusivity in governance, especially as an avenue to understanding how governance has developed in sub-Saharan African states and how this might impact the maintenance of peace; as well as the concept of inclusion itself, which remains understudied, often referred to by policymakers in passing, but rarely truly explored or explained.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season