Weak Links: Fragile States, Global Threats, and by Stewart Patrick

By Stewart Patrick

Traditional knowledge holds that vulnerable and failing states are the resource of the world’s so much urgent safeguard threats. in spite of everything, the Sep 11 assaults originated in an impoverished, war-ravaged state, and transnational crime seems to be to flourish in weakly ruled states. besides the fact that, our assumptions in regards to the threats posed through failing states are according to anecdotal arguments, now not on a scientific research of the connections among nation failure and transnational protection threats. examining terrorism, transnational crime, WMDs, pandemic ailments, and effort lack of confidence, Stewart Patrick indicates that whereas a few international threats do emerge in fragile states, such a lot in their weaknesses create distress just for their very own citizenry. furthermore, many threats originate farther up the chain, in wealthier and extra solid nations like Russia and Venezuela. Weak Links will strength policymakers to reconsider what they think approximately nation failure and transnational insecurity.

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Extra info for Weak Links: Fragile States, Global Threats, and International Security

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9 The international community is thus devoting new attention to the dilemmas caused by states whose lack of capacity or will renders traditional models of development cooperation ineffectual. 11 A third main impetus for increased attention to weak and failing states is growing global attention to human rights issues—and awareness that gross abuses frequently 21 Left Behind arise in weak and failing states. In 2005, UN member states endorsed a new international norm known as the “responsibility to protect,” which holds that all states have an obligation to protect their citizens from genocide, ethnic cleansing, and other crimes against humanity.

Such transitions present economic and political opportunities, but may also be inherently destabilizing as states face a greater risk of violence or upheaval. Special mention should be made of Iraq, which in 2008 had dismally low scores in the security sphere, thanks to ongoing civil conflict and terrorism. Its political performance was also abysmal, earning Iraq the world’s third-worst score on the rule of law indicator, and the fourth-worst score on government effectiveness. Improvements in Iraqi security and political stability since 2008, however, promise stronger performance in these scores.

Iraq provides an example of how countries can move through different trajectories in a very short time, particularly if given an outside push. In a few short years, Iraq went from a brittle dictatorship under Saddam Hussein to something approaching state collapse in 2005–2006, to what today resembles prolonged political crisis in a resource-rich state. Prospects for sustained recovery and democratic consolidation remain uncertain. Will vs. Capacity State fragility is not merely a question of inherent capacity or current trajectory but also of will—namely, the willingness of the governing regime to pursue constructive policies and reforms intended to provide its citizens with fundamental goods.

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