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Persistent State Weakness in the Global Age

Denisa Kostovicova and Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic (eds)
Ashgate (November 2009)

Persistent State Weakness in the Global Age addresses the question of why state weakness in the global era persists. It debunks a common assumption that state weakness is a stop-gap on the path to state failure and state collapse. Informed by a globalization perspective, the book shows how state weakness is frequently self-reproducing and functional. The interplay of global actors, policies and norms is analyzed from the standpoint of their internalization in a weak state through transnational networks. Contributors examine the reproduction of partial and discriminatory rule at the heart of persistent state weakness, drawing on a wide geographical range of case studies including the Middle East, the Balkans, the post-Soviet states and sub-Saharan Africa. The study of state-weakening dynamics related to institutional incapacity, colonial and war legacies, legitimacy gaps, economic informality, democratization and state-building provides an insight into durability and resilience of weak states in the global age.

  • Denisa Kostovicova is Lecturer in Global Politics, Government Department and Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Global Governance, at LSE.
  • Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic is Senior Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Global Governance, at LSE.

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Reviews

‘Kostovicova and Bojicic-Dzelilovic have brought together an original collection of scholarly essays which take issue with much of the conventional work on weak or failing states. Drawing upon different regional experiences both North and South this collection highlights the ways in which persistent state weakness is reproduced through the intersection of patterns of contemporary globalization with domestic politics.In so doing the contributors challenge many current orthodoxies about both the sources of, and effective policy responses to, the existence of weak states in our global age. This collection is a serious corrective to the many polemics written about “state failure” and deserves a wide readership amongst academics and policy makers alike.’
Tony McGrew, Southampton University, UK

'This insightful book explores a central paradox, the ability of so-called "weak" or "failing" states to survive and even prosper in a globalizing world. It provides a useful blend of theoretical deconstruction and empirical inquiry on state weakness – drawing upon excellent case studies from post-communist as well as developing countries.'
Robin Luckham, University of Sussex , UK

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Persistent State Weakness in the Global Age