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Failed States


A basic function of any state is the provision of political goods, especially security to persons who reside within their borders. The extent to which states have the capacity to effectively deliver these goods is what determines their statehood in the context of strong, weak, fragile, failed, or collapsed states. This entry pays attention to failed states. Failed states are increasingly becoming a topical issue in comparative and international politics since the September 2011 terrorist attacks in the United States given their implications for global security. The entry is divided into four sections. The first section examines the concept of failed state and the ambiguities associated with it. The second pays attention to the characteristics of failed states, while the third section examines the causes of state failure. The fourth section analyzes the relationship between failed states and global security in the context of terrorism.

The Concept of Failed State



  • Political goods
  • State capacity
  • Political legitimacy
  • State failure
  • Terrorism
  • Global security

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Correspondence to Oscar Gakuo Mwangi .

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Gakuo Mwangi, O. (2019). Failed States. In: Romaniuk, S., Thapa, M., Marton, P. (eds) The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Security Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-74336-3

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