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Armed State BuildingConfronting State Failure, 1898-2012$
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Paul D. Miller

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451492

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451492.001.0001

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State Failure

State Failure

(p.53) 4 State Failure
Armed State Building

Paul D. Miller

Cornell University Press

This chapter studies the literature on failed states in order to create a definition of a failed state. States can fail along any of the five aspects of statehood, resulting in five types of state failure: anarchic, illegitimate, incapable, unproductive, and barbaric states—failures of security, justice, capacity, economy, and humanity, respectively. Failures in each dimension can occur to greater or lesser degrees, and they can happen independently or, more often, in combination. These concepts help describe the dynamics of state failure during a state-building operation, but they do not exhaust the range of possible problems. The chapter suggests applying the balance-of-power theory to the dynamic among local actors and between local and international actors to generate insights about what influences locals to cooperate with, free-ride on, or fight against state-building efforts.

Keywords:   state failure, statehood, anarchic state, illegitimate state, incapable state, unproductive state, barbaric state, balance-of-power theory

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