Weak and Failing States

Norrin M. Ripsman, T. V. Paul
  • February 2010, Oxford University Press (OUP)
  • DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393903.003.0007

Weak and Failing States

Why is it important?

This chapter explores a final category of states: weak, failing, and failed states. It focuses on the states in the sub-Saharan African region, based on a belief that the African continent contains more weak states than any other region and, therefore, offers sufficient diversity in terms of cases. On the whole, the weak, failing, and failed states category presents mixed evidence for the globalization school. These states clearly have changed the type of wars they fight, and have reached out to nonstate actors and institutions to help them achieve their security objectives. In addition, there does indeed seem to be an increase in non-traditional security threats in sub-Saharan Africa, although traditional interstate threats persist. The majority of the states in the region, though, have not reduced their armed forces or defense expenditures, nor have they abandoned traditional security concerns to address new threats. Furthermore, they continue to pursue strategies at odds with the prevailing view of globalization, including hard-balancing against regional opponents and military offense.

Read Publication


The following have contributed to this page: T.V. Paul