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Concept of State Failure Essay

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Updated: Aug 12th, 2019


State failure has been a major challenge for many sovereign countries. “State failure is a label that encompasses a range of severe political conflicts and regime crises exemplified by macro societal events such as those that occurred in Somalia, Bosnia, Liberia, and Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire)”. Current examples of fallen States are: Egypt, Ivory Coast, Yemen, and Tunisia.

State failure has been prevalent in many developing countries due to lack of strong democratic institutions. In such States there is always very little adherence to the laws set by the government. This is because governments of failed countries do not have enough political authority to ensure that the rule of law is respected.

“State failure is always characterized by a lot of instability, humanitarian crisis, genocides, coups, economic decline, and crime”. Failed States are also not able to take part in international relationships with other countries.

For example, they cannot join international organizations like the U.N.O. States that promote international terrorism by facilitating its organization within their territories are also treated as failed countries. State failure has led to so many challenges that can be discussed as follows.

Terrorism has really threatened the world peace and it is increasingly becoming difficult to combat. State failure has been seen as one of the factors facilitating its development. Countries which have collapsed provide a safe heaven for terrorists.

For example terrorists always use those countries as hide outs. Terrorist also take advantage of the political instability in collapsed States to organize terrorist attacks from those territories. Somalia is one of the failed countries that host many terrorists.

Regional and international security is greatly jeopardized by countries that have collapsed. For example, “the war in Sudan and Somalia has led to the proliferation of arms especially along the Kenya and Somali border”. This has culminated to increased criminal activities within the East African region.

For example, Uganda and Tanzania were recently bombed by terrorist who are believed to have been operating from Somalia and Sudan. In addition to this, the North Eastern province of Kenya which borders Somalia has now turned into a battle field. This is because the Somali rebels are trying to attack the Kenyan territory.

Refugee problem is a serious international problem. Many people have fled the fallen States because of numerous challenges that they face. For example, insecurity and economic challenges have made people to move to safe places. Refugees have strained the world economy because the logistics used to support them demand a lot financial resources.

The developed countries have used their in supporting refugees. The situation has been aggravated by the increasing number of conflicts. For example the current wave of revolution that is spreading in various Arab countries has led to serious humanitarian crisis.

The U.N has been keen on promoting human rights in the world and its mission has been crippled by the fallen States. Conflicts in the fallen States have caused a lot of suffering and abuse of human rights. For example, the Rwanda genocide went into records as one of the most serious human rights abuses ever witnessed. Conflicts in fallen States seem to be endless as many communities try to seek revenge due to the abuse of their dignity.

The world economy is currently in a bad shape because some of the fallen countries possess very noble resources. For example many economies are declining because of high cost of fossil fuels in the world market. This sharp increase is partly caused by instability in most of the oil rich nations like Sudan, Iraq and now Libya.


The international community needs to put more efforts toward restoring stability in the fallen countries. This is because many serious challenges are likely to emerge from these countries that may jeopardize world peace and prosperity at large.


Frankilin, Kramer, Starr Stuart, and Wentz Larry. Cyber power and national security. Washington. D.C: National Defence University Press, 2009.

James, Fearon, and Latin David. “Ethnicity, insurgency, and civil war.” American Political Science Review 97 (2003): 75-90.

Sean, McFate. I Built an African Army. 1 7, 2010. Web.

Stathis, Kalyvas. “New and old civil wars.” World Politics 54 (2001): 99-118.

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IvyPanda. "Concept of State Failure." August 12, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/state-failure-essay/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Concept of State Failure." August 12, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/state-failure-essay/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Concept of State Failure'. 12 August.

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