Article on State Weakness

Just published a piece in the Netherlands-based NATO journal Atlantic Perspective. Here’s a link to the issue: http://www.atlcom.nl/upload/AP_2011_nr__6.pdf

Ungoverned Territories: Engaging local nongovernmental entities in U.S. security strategy

State weakness has become a prime concern for U.S. national security, and so-called ‘ungoverned territories’ are central to this concern. However, we need to differentiate between different kinds of ungoverned territories, and give special attention to zones of competing governance – places that are governed by entities other than the forces of an established nation-state – and the hierarchy of loyalties within them. This article describes key characteristics of these areas, and offers implications organized around three activities: research (more refined analysis and clarity of terms are needed), policy (improving state legitimacy may be more important than addressing weaknesses in capacity or will), and strategy (we must consider alternatives to our state-centric strategies for tackling non-state security threats).

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