Failed And Failing States In The 21st Century

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Failed and Failing States in the 21st Century

Executive Summary

This paper examines contemporary cases of nation-state collapse and failure. It makes clear distinctions between failed states and weak states, analyzing the features of them and the reasons why some weak states turn into failure and some others remain weak but without collapsing. Furthermore, it takes into consideration two different nations, which experienced the stage of failure and collapse, and analyses the causes, which generated that occurrence. It further examines how their citizens and the rest of the world should react to the challenges they pose. In the last part, it gives recommendations on how those states should react to those particular circumstances and which policies should be adopted in order to face future events. (Jamie , 2009)

Failed and Failing States in the 21st Century


States are very imperative to the world we live in today, if there were no states there would just be chaos everywhere. Historically speaking, states have been listed into three categories: successful states, failing states, and failed states. In these frightening times, moreover, appreciating the nature of and responding to the dynamics of nation-state failure have become central to critical policy debates. Therefore, is becoming always more important to deal with these issues related to failing and failed states. In weak and failed states the governments lack in an ethical structured society and do not provide services to their citizens and this in turn affect their economies. International organizations attempted and still attempt to solve these problems in those countries but not always with successful results.

Define Issues

First of all, it is necessary to analyze the difference between weak states and failed states. Weak states are those that are not able to fulfill all their expectations and result in a deficit of services provided to their citizens. According to the list of states quoted in Noam Chomsky's Book “The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy” there are many countries like Somalia, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, North Korea, Kenya and many more can be called a failed state or they are on the edge of being called as a failed state because they lack practicing ethics or in other words not complying to their constitution. (Jamie , 2009)


Somalia has had thirteen conferences since the collapse of the dictatorial regime of Siad Barre. All of them failed miserably due to myopic approaches by the international community. In order to settle the long-standing Somali political crisis, we need to grasp the root causes of the problem and then find solutions that are viable.

The Problems

First, the root cause of Somalia's woes is lack of skilled political leadership, most of the leaders that have been put in place were either propped up by a corrupt and untransparent patronage system, the average leader or warlord has never gone beyond primary school. Brutality and the propensity to cause death and chaos is the most sought after ...
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