Fragile States

Fragile States

Paperback War and Conflict in the Modern World

By (author) Lothar Brock, By (author) Hans-Henrik Holm, By (author) Georg Sorenson, By (author) Michael Stohl

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  • Publisher: Polity Press
  • Format: Paperback | 200 pages
  • Dimensions: 144mm x 208mm x 18mm | 281g
  • Publication date: 17 January 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0745649424
  • ISBN 13: 9780745649429
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 617,351

Product description

Today a billion people, including about 340 million of the world's extreme poor, are estimated to live in 'fragile states'. This group of low-income countries are often trapped in cycles of conflict and poverty, which make them acutely vulnerable to a range of shocks and crises. This engaging book defines and clarifies what we mean by fragile states, examining their characteristics in relation to "weak" and "failed" states in the global system, and explaining their development from pre-colonial times to the present day. It explores the connections between fragile statehood and violent conflict, and analyses the limitations of outside intervention from international society. The complexities surrounding 'successes' such as Costa Rica and Botswana - countries which ought to be fragile, but which are not - are analysed alongside the more precarious cases of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan and Haiti. Absorbing and authoritative, "Fragile States "will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars of international relations, security studies and development.

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Author information

Lothar Brock is research professor at the Peace ResearchInstitute, Frankfurt. Hans-Henrik Holm is professor and head of department atthe Danish School of Media and Journalism. Georg Sorensen is professor of political science atAarhus University. Michael Stohl is professor of communication and politicalscience at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Review quote

"The authors have done a superb job unpacking the complexitiessurrounding the concept of 'fragile state'. The scholarship isfirst-rate. Highly recommended." Choice "A very important book, tightly argued and brilliantly written,two qualities rarely found in a work by four authors ofseveral nationalities. It is committed neither to anideological orthodoxy, whether neo-liberal or neo-Marxist,norpurely descriptive or historical. It is both theoretical andempirical, both firm and nuanced. This small book is worth awhole library of studies on nation-building, fragile states andforeign interventions." Survival "An invaluable analysis which, in addition to imparting a deepinsight into the complex nature of fragile states, gives a coherenthistorical framework which defines political trends intoday s era." LSE Politics Blog "A very readable and practically oriented approach to understandingthe issue of state fragility." Ethnopolitics "A valuable contribution to the literature, analysing conflict anddevelopment in the modern era. The comprehensive historicalinformation for each case study is of particular note, ensuring aclear and reasoned discussion of highly complex issues." Australian Journal of International Affairs "The authors offer a concise and robust introduction to fragilitywithout falling into the trap of oversimplification." Nationalities Papers "An empirical triumph with policy relevance - truly unique in ourfield." George A. Lopez, University of Notre Dame "Largely based on the analyses of selected country studies,this important investigation into the roots of state fragilitybrings out results which question the need for further developmentassistance and instead find arguments for changes in, for instance,farm policies of rich countries. Particularly noteworthy in thisbook is the inclusion of cases that have avoided the statefragility that has afflicted neighboring countries. This givesfurther food for thought on how insightful governance can escapethe dilemmas of state fragility." Peter Wallensteen, Uppsala University

Table of contents

Acknowledgements viii Introduction: War and Conflict in Today's World 1 1 Major Characteristics of Fragile States 14 2 The Formation of Fragile States 25 3 Fragile Statehood and Violent Conflict 46 4 Coping with State Fragility 97 5 Surprising Deviations: Fragility Escaped 138 Conclusion: The Fragile State Dilemma 159 References 173 Index 186