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State ErosionUnlootable Resources and Unruly Elites in Central Asia$
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Lawrence P. Markowitz

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451874

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451874.001.0001

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Weak and Failed States in Comparative Perspective

Weak and Failed States in Comparative Perspective

(p.124) 6 Weak and Failed States in Comparative Perspective
State Erosion

Lawrence P. Markowitz

Cornell University Press

This chapter extends the study to the population of approximately forty weak states whose economies are defined by low capital mobility. It illustrates the impacts of resources, patronage, and local elite rent-seeking on state security using paired comparisons of six countries. Each pair—Syria and Lebanon, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan, Zimbabwe and Somalia—has confronted similar challenges, yet they have witnessed state security fragmentation in one and state security cohesion in the other. Approximately fifteen countries have experienced state security fragmentation (often leading to state failure), while across the same period thirteen countries have avoided fragmentation and witnessed the rise of cohesive state security apparatuses underpinned by rent-seeking. These are long-lasting state formation trajectories, and there is little overlap between the two groups. At the same time, another eleven countries have managed to avoid either of these trajectories, despite their low capital mobility.

Keywords:   weak states, low capital mobility, resources, patronage, local elites, rent-seeking, state security fragmentation, state security cohesion, state failure

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