‘Failed States’ in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of the Literature

Di John, Jonathan (2011) ‘Failed States’ in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of the Literature. Elcano Newsletter (73). 10 p.. ISSN 1698-5184

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Abstract

The concept and measurement of ‘failed states’ is not generally helpful in understanding the economic and political realities in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper undertakes a review of the literature that addresses the concept, measurement and causes of ‘failed states’ in Sub-Saharan Africa. It finds that concept and measurement of ‘failed states’ is not generally helpful in understanding economic and political realities in Sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, it argues that an aggregate index of state performance is unhelpful for policymakers because it misses the wide range of capacity across different state functions within polities. It also finds that the main theories attempting to explain ‘state failure’ have important theoretical shortcomings and are not supported by the evidence. Finally, the paper examines the political economy behind why some states in the region are more resilient than others.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Estudio sólo disponible en inglés
Uncontrolled Keywords: África Subsahariana
Subjects: INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION > COUNTRIES AND REGIONS > AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA
EARTH SCIENCES; SPACE SCIENCES > GEOGRAPHY > REGIONAL ANALYSIS.
INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK > POLITICS > POLITICAL PROBLEMS
INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK > POLITICS > POLITICAL THEORY
INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK > POLITICS > POLITICAL STABILITY
CULTURE; SOCIETY > SOCIAL SCIENCES > SOCIAL RESEARCH
Divisions: Real Instituto Elcano, RIE
Depositing User: Jorge Horcas Pulido
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2012 02:50
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2012 02:50
URI: http://biblioteca.ribei.org/id/eprint/2148

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