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  1. Somalia: A failed state?
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  3. Failures of the state failure debate - Tobias Hagmann
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This emphasizes nation-states and nation-building as a key aspect of political development.

The third criterion is a focus on democratization , which is in essence a focus on competition and equalization of power. The final criterion is mobilization , which is a focus on political participation. The greater the development, the greater the modernization, the greater the mobilization, and therefore the greater the political participation.

Ultimately, political development can be defined as an increase in national political unity and an increase in political participation. According to Huntington's definition of political development as modernization, political decay is the opposite of the linear idea of social progress—although, within the model of modernization, social regression is not possible. Instead, political decay takes place because "modern and modernizing states can change by losing capabilities as well as by gaining them.

Somalia: A failed state?

In addition, a gain in any one capability usually involves costs in others. In some political systems, such as certain Latin American regions, governments have been influenced by military intervention as a result of the government's inability to cope with the strains of modernization. Under the framework of political development as institutional development, political decay occurs when institutions fail to change or adapt when they become unnecessary due to social or economic changes.

Dan Halvorson challenges the idea of political decay as an institutional failure by claiming that the idea of political decay is tied to a Western ideal of political institution without taking into account widely-varying cultural institutions and the inability of post-colonial states to adapt to Western ideals. Different social and economic factors contribute to both the political development as well as the political decay of nations.

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Outside forces such as foreign governments affect the stability of established governments due to contrasting social institutions or economic interests. In order to be considered stable, government procedures and institutions must maintain autonomy and be resistant to outside agents.

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Social developments, such as the proliferation of literacy, lead to the rise and spread of new ideas. Political instability occurs when one faction in a state's government is in opposition with another faction or with another institution in government. Sri Lanka saw a period of political instability following elections in caused by the ambitions of political leaders. The elected President Kumaratunga attempted to change the constitution and dissolve the parliament in order to remain in power, leading to sudden changes in the structure of the law-making body.

Political development in France, such as the development of the bureaucracy and other institutions, led to a greater demand for meritocracy and greater political conflict among the ruling class. India has provisions its constitution which grant leaders the power to breach or oppose the constitution in cases of emergency.

These breaches of the state law from within the political system can lead to political decay. Huntington's model of political development and decay describes elements such as industrialization, urbanization, education and literacy as social developments that create instability. The presence of violent conflict is not always indicative of social decay. Due to the complex character of state-building and shifts in political systems, violence is not a reliable indicator of political decay or development. Socialization of law is one of the forces that opposes political decay within Huntington's structure of modernization, by ensuring that the political institutions in place are resistant to social instability.

Failures of the state failure debate - Tobias Hagmann

Toggle navigation Additional Book Information. Description Author s Bio Reviews. Yet the idea of state failure has only acquired such prominence in the post-Cold War period. This judgement is based on the sensitivity of great powers to particular types of disorder generated from the periphery in different historical periods. Reviews 'This is the first book to place state failure - which many assume is a contemporary issue - in detailed historical context.

Lucid, hard-hitting and deeply informative, States of Disorder shows that it is not objective state weakness that causes powerful countries to react to state failure, but broader systemic concerns related to their own sense of security. A must-read for anyone who thinks the world will confront the problem of state failure again in future.

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Through the discussion of judiciously chosen case-studies, Halvorson further shows that these powers intervene for their own purposes or are driven by ideas of their own, so intervention never achieves its full and ostensible objectives. Request an e-inspection copy. Share this Title. Recommend to Librarian.

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