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When States Fail: Causes And Consequences


The failure of nation-states is nothing new. But in the age of global terrorism, the consequences of state failure for the international order are potentially much more damaging than ever before. This volume brings together experts to explore the problem of weak states in the developing world and to offer ideas about how to strengthen rights and rule. It is most useful in providing a framework for diagnosing the ailments that afflict states in various stages of decay in Africa, Asia, and Latin America: weak states fail to provide key public goods such as security, law, property rights, banks, schools, and hospitals; failed states (Mobutu Sese Seko's Zaire, the Taliban's Afghanistan) are characterized by chronic violence, corruption, deteriorating infrastructure, and predatory ruling regimes; and in collapsed states (Lebanon in the 1970s, Somalia in the 1980s, Nigeria and Sierra Leone in the 1990s), rule by the gun wipes away any pretense of public authority.




When States Fail: Causes and Consequences



Weakness is a large category, which deserves attention because of the fear that weak states might slide down. As Kofi Anaan has argued when making the case for U.N. intervention, it is much easier help a state to reconstitute itself before it has failed than once it has already failed. In this respect states that tend to teeter between strength and failure, such as Paraguay, Bolivia, and Kyrgyzstan, are most important to understand. (Other weak states, for instance Haiti, are endemically weak.) In these cases outside help in establishing a security framework can sufficiently bolster a government to enable it to provide other political goods. The Syrians have provided such a security framework in Lebanon.


Metrics have been developed to describe the level of governance of states. The precise level of government control required to avoid being considered a failed state varies considerably amongst authorities.[2] Furthermore, the declaration that a state has "failed" is generally controversial and, when made authoritatively, may carry significant geopolitical consequences.[2]


Charles T. Call attempts to abandon the concept of state failure altogether, arguing that it promotes an unclear understanding of what state failure means. Instead, Call advances a "gap framework" as an alternative means of assessing the effectiveness of state administration.[6] This framework builds on his previous criticism of the state failure concept as overly generalized. Call thus asserts that it is often inappropriately applied as a catch-all theory to explain the plight of states that are in fact subject to diverse national contexts and do not possess identical problems. Utilizing such an evaluation to support policy prescriptions, Call posits, is then responsible for poor policy formulation and outcomes.[13] As such, Call's proposed framework develops the concept of state failure through the codification of three "gaps" in resource provision that the state is not able to address when it is in the process of failure: capacity, when state institutions lack the ability to effectively deliver basic goods and services to its population; security, when the state is unable to provide security to its population under the threat of armed groups; and legitimacy when a "significant portion of its political elites and society reject the rules regulating power and the accumulation and distribution of wealth."[6]


While it is important to note that the FSI is used in many pieces of research and makes the categorization of states more pragmatic, it often receives much criticism due to several reasons. Firstly, it does not include the Human Development Index to reach the final score but instead focuses on institutions to measure what are often also considered human aspects for development. Secondly, it parallels the fragility or vulnerability of states with underdevelopment. This comparison firstly assumes that underdevelopment (economic) creates vulnerability, thus assuming that if a state is "developed" it is stable or sustainable. Thirdly, it measures the failure (or success) of a state without including the progress of other areas outside the sphere of the 12 indicators, thus excluding important measures of development such as the decline in child mortality rates, and increased access to clean water sources and medication, amongst others. Nonetheless, when discussing failed states it is important to mention the FSI not just for its use by governments, organizations, educators and analysts, but also because it provides a measure of assessment that tries to address the issues that cause threats, both domestically and internationally.


While failed states are the source of numerous refugees, the chaotic emigration allowed by UN regulations and open border policies have contributed to human capital flight, or brain drain. Without sufficient professional and skilled workers, such as doctors, nurses, biologists, engineers, electricians, and so on, the severity of failed states tends to increase, leading to even more emigration. Similarly, policies that do not require third country resettlement on the same continent as failed states make eventual resettlement after the war, famine, or political collapse even less probable, as the distance, cost, and inconvenience of returning to home countries increase with distance and language change among refugee families. In Somalia, Afghanistan, and Yemen the reform movements and modernization efforts are weakened when there are no effective refugee resettlement programs.


Following damage to ventromedial frontal cortices, adults with previously normal personalities develop defects in decision-making and planning that are especially revealed in an abnormal social conduct. The defect repeatedly leads to negative personal consequences. The physiopathology of this disorder is an enigma. We propose that the defect is due to an inability to activate somatic states linked to punishment and reward, that were previously experienced in association with specific social situations, and that must be reactivated in connection with anticipated outcomes of response options. During the processing that follows the perception of a social event, the experience of certain anticipated outcomes of response options would be marked by the reactivation of an appropriate somatic state. Failure to reactivate pertinent somatic markers would deprive the individual of an automatic device to signal ultimately deleterious consequences relative to responses that might nevertheless bring immediate reward (or, alternatively, signal ultimately advantageous outcomes relative to responses that might bring immediate pain). As an example, activation of somatic markers would (1) force attention to future negative consequences, permitting conscious suppression of the responses leading to them and deliberate selection of biologically advantageous responses, and (2) trigger non-conscious inhibition of response states by engagement of subcortical neurotransmitter systems linked to appetitive behaviors. An investigation of this theory in patients with frontal damage reveals that their autonomic responses to socially meaningful stimuli are indeed abnormal, suggesting that such stimuli fail to activate somatic states at the most basic level. On the contrary, elementary unconditioned stimuli (e.g. a loud noise) produce normal autonomic responses.


Consequences to your program will be enforced by your state interlock agency after interpreting the data from the interlock device. Some states are stricter than others when judging interlock data, so make sure that you're aware of your state rules.


Federal law does not require states to submit information to NICS; participation is strictly voluntary.19However, effective background checks on prospective firearm purchasers depend on the existence of complete, accurate information in the NICS database. Therefore, to fully capture all records that would disqualify someone under federal law from purchasing or possessing firearms due to mental illness or developmental disability, it is critical that state authorities report to NICS whenever a court, board, or other lawful authority: 041b061a72


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