In this book, the term „forced administration“ refers to the temporary administration of territories by „foreign“ administrators (i. e. ones who do not belong to the respective territory) on behalf of higher authorities that are defined and legitimated by constitutional or public international law. Forced administration can thus be understood as legitimated foreign administration, distinct from other forms of external rule. Compared diachronically, the similarities and differences, general structural principles and practical problems of such administrations become apparent. Forced administration normally took place against a background of financial, political or military crisis. The concept can also apply to the international control of former colonies. For centuries, forced administrations had the same basic tripartite institutional structure: commissioning authority – administrator – local authority. Their functional intensity ranged from mere monitoring functions, to responsibility for specific areas, to taking over the entire territorial administration. There is frequently a continuity within the local administrative structures and elites. Nonetheless, forced administrations often raised local hackles, and sometimes even engendered violent resistance. In respect of the right of higher authorities to accord forced administrations formal legitimacy („the legitimation to legitimate“), the erosion of the importance of concepts of natural rights opened up a „legitimacy chasm“ which can ultimately only be bridged by an appeal to the existing power structure. This is also one reason why there was often an attempt to find some complementary „moral“ legitimacy – based on arguments such as the need to create stability in times of crisis, the protection of the interests of the territories concerned, the involvement of local actors, the superior expertise and independence of the staff of the forced administration, and the promotion of the territory’s capacity to govern itself. Such attempts at creating legitimacy often suffered from the vested interests of the intervening parties, the non-credible means by which the goals were to be attained, and an approach which smacked of colonialism. Forced administrations are long-lasting, but finite. They have proven themselves successful in generating stability. Despite deficits in legitimacy and practical problems in implementation, they have created a generally positive impression – provided they did not serve as a tool for protecting vested interests or for siphoning off resources, but rather as a dynamic, goal-directed problem solving process with an open outcome.