Cover of State Failure in the Modern World by Zaryab Iqbal and Harvey Starr
State Failure in the Modern World
Zaryab Iqbal and Harvey Starr

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December 2015
168 pages.
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Cloth ISBN: 9780804776738
Paper ISBN: 9780804776745

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State failure is seen as one of the significant threats to regional and international stability in the current international system. State Failure in the Modern World presents a comprehensive, systematic, and empirically rigorous analysis of the full range of the state failure process in the post-World War II state system—including what state failure means, its causes, what accounts for its duration, its consequences, and its implications. Among the questions the book addresses are: when and why state failure occurs, why it recurs in any single state, and when and why its consequences spread to other states.

The book sets out the array of problems in previous work on state failure with respect to conceptualization and definition, as well as how the causes and consequences of state failure have been addressed, and presents analyses to deal with these problems. Any analysis of state failure can be seen as an exercise in policy evaluation; this book undertakes the theoretical, conceptual, and analytic work that must be done before we can evaluate—or have much confidence in—both current and proposed policy prescriptions to prevent or manage state collapse.

About the authors

Zaryab Iqbal is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of War and the Health of Nations (Stanford, 2010).

Harvey Starr is Dag Hammarskjöld Professor of International Affairs in the Department of Political Science at the University of South Carolina.

"This book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of state failure. The authors make new contributions to the literature in ways that are both innovative and have important policy implications. With their well thought-out analysis and discussion, they bring the key threads of the challenge of state failure together in one book."

—Victor Asal, Rockefeller College, SUNY Albany

"State failure is an incredibly important real world issue that has puzzled policymakers since the 1990s. This book pushes the empirical analysis of this problem forward, and is one of the best analyses of state failure currently available."

—Cameron G. Thies, Arizona State University