State Failure Revisited I : Globalization of Security and Neighborhood Effects
‘State failure’ has become a part of the global post‐9/11 security calculus. Faltering states are presented as dangers to international stability, as terrorist safe havens and as ‘black holes’ of global politics. However, the political and academic debate about this phenomenon still leaves much to be desired. This working paper and its companion piece (INEF Report 89/2007) try to revisit the phenomenon from new perspectives. The focus of ʺState Failure Revisited Iʺ is on the globalization of security and neighborhood effects. ʺRethinking State Failure: The Political Economy of Securityʺ by Pinar Bilgin/Adam David Morton argues that the relationship between ‘state failure’ and globalization is not adequately theorized. Their contribution details several problematic assumptions linked to the dominant discourse on ‘state failure’ including the unreflexive attitude to both scholarship and policy‐making that it reveals; the view that globalization is understood and represented as an ‘out there’ phenomenon, whereas it is very much an ‘in here’ occurrence; and the manner in which it reduces the security dimension of globalization to the threat posed by terrorism to state security, thereby failing to move away from a statecentric account. In contrast, Bilgin/Morton lay out the contours of an alternative framework to state ‘failure’ that is attentive to the conditions of uneven development of accumulation patterns and the importation of ‘Western’ models of sovereign territoriality in non‐Western locales. The regional impact of state failure – in contrast to its global implications – has only received scant attention in academic and policy debates. To introduce the regional level into the analysis, Daniel Lambach in his contribution ʺClose Encounters in the Third Dimensionʺ develops a basic model to understand the transnational interaction between national processes of failure and consolidation in neighboring states. The deductively constructed model differentiates between structural and dynamic cross‐border linkages. A plausibility test of the model is undertaken with evidence from four countries in West Africa. The case study substantiates the hypotheses underlying the model, thus confirming its general applicability to other cases.