State Failure and State Weakness in a Time of Terror

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Robert I. Rotberg
Brookings Institution Press, May 13, 2004 - Political Science - 456 pages
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The threat of terror, which flares in Africa and Indonesia, has given the problem of failed states an unprecedented immediacy and importance. In the past, failure had a primarily humanitarian dimension, with fewer implications for peace and security. Now nation-states that fail, or may do so, pose dangers to themselves, to their neighbors, and to people around the globe: preventing their failure, and reviving those that do fail, has become a strategic as well as a moral imperative. State Failure and State Weakness in a Time of Terror develops an innovative theory of state failure that classifies and categorizes states along a continuum from weak to failed to collapsed. By understanding the mechanisms and identifying the tell-tale indicators of state failure, it is possible to develop strategies to arrest the fatal slide from weakness to collapse. This state failure paradigm is illustrated through detailed case studies of states that have failed and collapsed (the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, the Sudan, Somalia), states that are dangerously weak (Colombia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan), and states that are weak but safe (Fiji, Haiti, Lebanon).


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Failed States Collapsed States Weak States Causes and Indicators
The Democratic Republic of the Congo From Failure to Potential Reconstruction
Sierra Leone Warfare in a PostState Society
The Sudan A Successfully Failed State
Somalia Can A Collapsed State Reconstitute Itself?
Colombia Lawlessness Drug Trafficking and Carving Up the State
Indonesia The Erosion of State Capacity
Sri Lanka A Fragmented State
Tajikistan Regionalism and Weakness
Fiji Divided and Weak
Haiti A Case of Endemic Weakness
Lebanon Failure Collapse and Resuscitation

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About the author (2004)

Robert I. Rotberg is director of the Program on Intrastate Conflict, Conflict Prevention, and Conflict Resolution at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and president of the World Peace Foundation. Rotberg is the author or editor of numerous books, including State Failure and State Weakness in a Time of Terror (Brookings/WPF, 2003).

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