The Careless State: Using ‘easy money’ to retain power, pursue vanity projects and cushion the elite
A key difficulty to understand the point at which states fail their citizens is in the criteria — when exactly is a state fragile or failed?
by Ray Hartley and Greg Mills
Failed, fragile, weak, collapsed, vulnerable, moribund, straggling, struggling, crisis, quasi-failed, “non-state”, broken, invisible, insufficient, stillborn, phantom, or even Potemkin states (those that pretend to work, but don’t), have all been put forward as models of state dysfunction.
A key difficulty to understand the point at which states fail their citizens is in the criteria — exactly when is a state fragile or failed? There appears to be no single reason or a tipping point at which a state becomes officially “failed”, an imaginary dividing line between success or normality and failure. Countries, after all, exist on a spectrum or continuum rather than in a binary world of success or failure.