weak and poorly governed states

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Copyright 0 2014. Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.INTRODUCTION WEAK STATES, GLOBAL THREATS, AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITYOne of the de� ning challenges in our world, now and for many years to come, will be to deal with weak and poorly governed states—states that are on the verge of failure, or indeed, states that have already failed. �ese crises create environments of anarchy, and conf ict, and ungoverned space—where violence and oppression can spread; where arms tra� ckers and other transnational criminals can operate with impunity; and where terrorists and extrem-ists can gather, and plot, and train to kill the innocent. In a world as increasingly connected as ours, the international state system is only as strong as its weakest links. —Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, July 16, 2008 1[Al-Qaeda recruits] operate freely in the disa� ected communities and disconnected corners of our interconnected world—the impoverished, weak and ungoverned states that have become the most fertile breeding grounds for transnational threats like terror and pandemic disease and the smuggling of deadly weapons. —Senator Barack Obama, April23, 20072It has become commonplace to claim that the gravest dangers to U.S. and world secu-rity are no longer military threats from rival great powers but rather cross-border threats emanating from the world’s most poorly governed, economically stagnant, and con� ict-ridden countries. Public o� cials and the media—as well as many scholars— depict weak and failing states as generating or enabling a vast array of dangers, from transnational terrorism to weapons proliferation, organized crime, humanitarian catas-trophes, regional conf ict, mass migration, pandemic disease, environmental degrada-tion, and energy insecurity. 3 Leading thinkers like Francis Fukuyama argue, “Since the end of the Cold War, weak and failing states have arguably become the single-most important problem for international order.” O� cial Washington agrees. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has spoken of the “chaos that �ows from failed states,” which serve as “breeding grounds, not only for the worst abuses of human beings,3Patrick, Stewart. Weak Links : Fragile States, Global Threats, and International Security, Oxford University Press, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/northeastern-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3054450. Created from northeastern-ebooks on 2017-12-06 09:10:55.

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