Failed states or a failed paradigm? State capacity and the limits of institutionalism

  • Shahar Hameiri
Article

Abstract

In the post-Cold War era, a voluminous literature has developed to define failed states, identify the causes and parameters of failure, and devise ways for dealing with the problems associated with state fragility and failure. While there is some theoretical diversity within this literature — notably between neoliberal institutionalists and neo-Weberian institutionalists — state failure is commonly defined in terms of state capacity. Since capacity is conceived in technical and ‘objective’ terms, the political nature of projects of state construction (and reconstruction) is masked. Whereas the existence of social and political struggles of various types is often recognized by the failed states literature, these conflicts are abstracted from political and social institutions. Such an analysis then extends into programmes that attempt to build state capacity as part of projects that seek to manage social and political conflict. Ascertaining which interests are involved and which interests are left out in such processes is essential for any understanding of the prospects or otherwise of conflict resolution.

Keywords

economic development failed states governance institutionalism state capacity social conflict 

References

  1. Anderson, Ian (2005) ‘Fragile States: What is International Experience Telling Us?’, Canberra: Australian Agency for International Development, June.Google Scholar
  2. AusAID (2000) ‘Good Governance: Guiding Principles for Implementation’, Canberra: Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).Google Scholar
  3. AusAID (2006) ‘Australian Aid: Promoting Growth and Stability’, Canberra: Australian Government Agency for International Development.Google Scholar
  4. Bain, William (2003) Between Anarchy and Society: Trusteeship and the Obligations of Power, Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berger, Mark T. (2006) ‘From Nation-Building to State-Building: The Geopolitics of Development, the Nation-State System and the Changing Global Order’, Third World Quarterly 27 (1): 5–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berger, Mark T. and Heloise Weber (2006) ‘Beyond State-Building: Global Governance and the Crisis of the Nation-State System in the 21st Century’, Third World Quarterly 27 (1): 201–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bellin, Eva (2000) ‘Contingent Democrats: Industrialists, Labor and Democratization in Late Developing Countries’, World Politics 52 (2): 175–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bilgin, Pinar and Adam David Morton (2002) ‘Historicising Representations of ‘Failed States’: Beyond the Cold-War Annexation of the Social Sciences’, Third World Quarterly 23 (1): 55–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Blair, Tony (2005) ‘Speech to the General Assembly at the UN World Summit 2005’, 15 September, available at http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page8195.asp (accessed 17 October, 2006).
  10. Burnside, Craig and David Dollar (1997) ‘Aid Policies and Growth’, Washington DC: World Bank, Policy Research Working Paper No. 1777.Google Scholar
  11. Camdessus, Michel (1998) ‘The IMF and Good Governance’, address by Michel Camdessus, Managing Director of the IMF at Transparency International (France), 21 January.Google Scholar
  12. Carroll, Toby (2006) ‘The World Bank's Socio-Institutional Neoliberalism: A Case-Study from Indonesia’, paper presented at the Workshop on the World Bank, Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, 18 September.Google Scholar
  13. Carroll, Toby and Shahar Hameiri (2006) ‘The Politics of AusAID's White Paper’, Australian Institute of International Affairs Response Paper, July, pp. 19–25.Google Scholar
  14. Chandler, David (2006) Empire in Denial: The Politics of State-building, London, Ann Arbor: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  15. Chaudhry, Kiren Aziz (1997) The Price of Wealth: Economies and Institutions in the Middle East, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Chauvet, Lisa and Paul Collier (2004) ‘Development Effectiveness in Fragile States: Spillovers and Turnarounds’, Oxford: Centre for the Study of African Economies, Department of Economics, Oxford University, January.Google Scholar
  17. Clapham, Christopher (1998) ‘Degrees of Statehood’, Review of International Studies 24 (2): 143–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Collier, Paul (2000) ‘Economic Causes of Civil Conflict and their Implications for Policy’, Washington DC: World Bank, 15 June.Google Scholar
  19. Darby, Michael R and James R. Lothian (1982) ‘British Economic Policy under Margaret Thatcher: A Midterm Examination’, Los Angeles, CA: UCLA Department of Economics, University of California, Working Paper No. 253.Google Scholar
  20. Dauvergne, Peter (1998) ‘Weak States, Strong States: A State-in-Society Perspective’, in Peter Dauvergne, ed., Weak and Strong States in Asia-Pacific Societies, 1–10, Sydney: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  21. de Soysa, Indra (2000) ‘The Resource Curse: Are Civil Wars Driven by Rapacity or Paucity?’, in Mats Berdal and David Malone, eds, Greed and Grievance: Economic Agendas in Civil Wars, 113–135, Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner.Google Scholar
  22. DfID (2005) ‘Why We Need to Work More Effectively in Fragile States’, London: Department for International Development, United Kingdom Government, January.Google Scholar
  23. DfID (2006) Eliminating World Poverty: Making Governance Work for the Poor, London: Department for International Development, United Kingdom Government.Google Scholar
  24. Dorff, Robert H. (2000) ‘Addressing the Challenges of State Failure’, paper presented at the Failed States Conference’, Florence, Italy, 7–10 April.Google Scholar
  25. Downer, Alexander (2003) ‘Our Failing Neighbour: Australia and the Future of Solomon Islands: Speech at the Launch of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute Report’, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government, 10 June, available at http://www.foreignminister.gov.au/speeches/2003/030610_solomonislands.html (accessed 25 August, 2005).
  26. Fukuyama, Francis (2005) State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century, London: Profile Books.Google Scholar
  27. Fullilove, Michael (2006) ‘The Testament of Solomons: RAMSI and International State-Building’, Sydney: Lowy Institute for International Policy.Google Scholar
  28. Gills, Barry, Joel Rocamora and Richard Wilson, eds (1993) Low Intensity Democracy: Political Power in the New World Order, London: Pluto.Google Scholar
  29. Gramsci, Antonio (1971) Selections from the Prison Notebooks, London: Lawrence and Wishart.Google Scholar
  30. Hameiri, Shahar (2006) ‘What Really Went Wrong in Solomons’, The Age (24 April): 11.Google Scholar
  31. Hameiri, Shahar (2007) ‘The Trouble with RAMSI: Reexamining the Roots of Conflict in Solomon Islands’, The Contemporary Pacific 19 (2): forthcoming.Google Scholar
  32. Harrison, Graham (2004) ‘Introduction: Globalisation, Governance and Development’, New Political Economy 9 (2): 155–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hay, Colin, Michael Lister and David Marsh, eds (2006) The State: Theories and Issues, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  34. Heupel, Monika (2006) ‘Shadow Trade War Economies and Their Challenge to Peacebuilding’, Journal of International Relations and Development 9 (2): 140–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hewison, Kevin, Garry Rodan and Richard Robison (1993) ‘Introduction: Changing Forms of State Power in Southeast Asia’, in Kevin Hewison, Richard Robison and Garry Rodan, eds, Southeast Asia in the 1990s: Authoritarianism, Democracy and Capitalism, 2–8, Sydney: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  36. Jayasuriya, Kanishka (2005) Reconstituting the Global Liberal Order: Legitimacy and Regulation, London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Jayasuriya, Kanishika and Kevin Hewison (2004) ‘The Antipolitics of Good Governance’, Critical Asian Studies 36 (4): 571–590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Jessop, Bob (1990) State Theory: Putting the Capitalist State in Its Place, Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  39. Kabutaulaka, Tarcisius Tara (2005) ‘Australian Foreign Policy and the RAMSI Intervention in Solomon Islands’, The Contemporary Pacific 17 (2): 283–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Keohane, Robert O (2003) ‘Political Authority after Intervention: Gradations in Sovereignty’, in Jeff L. Holzgrefe and Robert O. Keohane, eds, Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal and Political Dilemmas, 275–298, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Knapman, Bruce and Cedric D. Saldanha (1999) ‘Reforms in the Pacific: An Assessment of the Asian Development Bank's Assistance to Reform Programs in the Pacific’, Manila: Asian Development Bank.Google Scholar
  42. Krasner, Stephen D (1999) Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Malloy, James M. (1991) ‘Statecraft, Social Policy, and Governance in Latin America’, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, Working Paper No. 151.Google Scholar
  44. Meierhenrich, Jens (2004) ‘Forming States after Failure’, in Robert I. Rotberg, ed., When States Fail: Causes and Consequences, 153–169, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Migdal, Joel S. (1988) Strong Societies and Weak States: State–Society Relations and State Capabilities in the Third World, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Milliken, Jennifer and Keith Krause (2003) ‘State Failure, State Collapse and State Reconstruction: Concepts, Lessons and Strategies’, in Jennifer Milliken, ed., State Failure, Collapse and Reconstruction, 1–24, Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  47. North, Douglass (1981) Structure and Change in Economic History, New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  48. North, Douglass (1995) ‘The New Institutional Economics and Third World Development’, in John Harris, Jane Hunter and Colin M. Lewis, eds, The New Institutional Economics and Third World Development, 17–26, London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  49. Paris, Roland (2004) At War's End: Building Peace after Civil Conflict, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Poulantzas, Nicos (1978) State, Power, Socialism, London: New Left Books.Google Scholar
  51. Putzel, James (2004) ‘The Political Impact of Globalisation and Liberalisation: Evidence Emerging from Crisis States: Research’, London: London School of Economics, Crisis States Discussion Paper No.7.Google Scholar
  52. Robison, Richard and Vedi R. Hadiz (2004) Reorganising Power in Indonesia: The Politics of Power in an Age of Markets, London and New York: Routledge Curzon.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rodan, Garry and Kevin Hewison (2004) ‘Introduction: Closing the Circle? Globalization, Conflict, and Political Regimes’, Critical Asian Studies 36 (3): 383–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rodan, Garry and Kanishka Jayasuriya (2006) ‘Conflict and the New Political Participation in Southeast Asia’, Perth: Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University, Working Paper No. 129.Google Scholar
  55. Rodan, Garry, Kevin Hewison and Robison Richard (2006) ‘Theorising Markets in South-East Asia: Power and Contestation’, in Garry Rodan, Kevin Hewison and Richard Robison, eds, The Political Economy of South-East Asia: Markets, Power and Contestation, 1–38, Melbourne: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Ross, Michael L. (1999) ‘The Political Economy of the Resource Curse’, World Politics 51 (2): 297–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rosser, Andrew (2006) ‘Introduction: Achieving Turnaround in Fragile States’, IDS Bulletin 37 (2): 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rotberg, Robert I (2004) ‘The Failure and Collapse of Nation-States: Breakdown, Prevention and Repair’, in Robert I. Rotberg, ed., When States Fail: Causes and Consequences, 1–45, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Shattuck, John and J. Brian Atwood (1998) ‘Defending Democracy: Why Democrats Trump Autocrats’, Foreign Affairs 77 (2): 167–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Skocpol, Theda (1985) ‘Bringing the State Back In: Strategies of Analysis in Current Research’, in Peter B. Evans, Dietrich Rueschemeyer and Theda Skocpol, eds, Bringing the State Back In, 3–37, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Soederberg, Susanne (2001) ‘Grafting Stability onto Globalisation? Deconstructing the IMF's Recent Bid for Transparency’, Third World Quarterly 22 (5): 849–864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Soederberg, Susanne (2004) ‘American Empire and “Excluded States”: The Millennium Challenge Account and the Shift to Pre-Emptive Development’, Third World Quarterly 25 (2): 279–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sørensen, Georg (1999) ‘Sovereignty: Change and Continuity in a Fundamental Institution’, Political Studies XLVII: 590–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Thatcher, Margaret (1978) ‘Speech to the Bow Group: “The Ideals of an Open Society’”, 6 May, Margaret Thatcher Foundation Website, available at http://www.margaretthatcher.org/speeches/displaydocument.asp?docid=103674 (accessed 26 October, 2006).
  65. Torres, Magui Moreno and Michael Anderson (2004) ‘Fragile States: Defining Difficult Environments for Poverty Reduction’, London: Poverty Reduction in Difficult Environments Team, Policy Division, Department for International Development, United Kingdom Government, August.Google Scholar
  66. Toye, John (1987) Dilemmas of Development: Reflections on the Counter-Revolution in Development Theory and Policy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  67. Turnbull, Jane (2002) ‘Solomon Islands: Blending Traditional Power and Modern Structures in the State’, Public Administration and Development 22: 191–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. USAID (nd) ‘Promoting Democracy and Good Governance’, United States Agency for International Development website, available at http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/democracy_and_governance/ (accessed 17 October, 2006).
  69. USAID (2005) ‘Fragile States Strategy’, Washington DC: United States Agency for International Development, January.Google Scholar
  70. van de Walle, Nicolas (2004) ‘The Economic Correlates of State Failure: Taxes, Foreign Aid, and Policies’, in Robert I. Rotberg, ed., When States Fail: Causes and Consequences, 94–115, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  71. Wainwright, Elsina (2003) ‘Our Failing Neighbour: Australia and the Future of Solomon Islands’, Canberra: ASPI Policy Report, Strategy and International Program, Australian Strategic Policy Institute,.Google Scholar
  72. Weber, Max (1991) From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  73. Weiss, Linda (1999) The Myth of the Powerless State, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  74. White House (2006) ‘The National Security Strategy of the United States of America’, Washington DC: The White House, March.Google Scholar
  75. World Bank (1983) World Development Report 1983, New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  76. World Bank (1991) ‘Managing Development: The Governance Dimension’, Washington, DC: World Bank, Discussion Paper.Google Scholar
  77. World Bank (2001) World Development Report 2000/2001, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  78. World Bank (2002) World Development Report 2002: Building Institutions for Markets, New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  79. World Bank (2003) ‘Country Policy and Institutional Assessment’, Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  80. Zartman, I.William (1995) ‘Introduction: Posing the Problem of State Collapse’, in I. William Zartman, ed., Collapsed States: The Disintegration and Restoration of Legitimate Authority, 1–14, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shahar Hameiri
    • 1
  1. 1.Asia Research Centre, Murdoch UniversityMurdochAustralia

Personalised recommendations