Cultural determinism, western hegemony & the efficacy of defective states

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This paper argues that the notion of a defective state, including those designated as 'weak', 'failed' or 'collapsed', has a number of obvious advantages for the West. First and most obviously, it offers an explanation for the faults of the state in question that does not implicate outside forces. Second, it justifies external action to intervene in the internal affairs of domestic regimes and, finally, it implies that such action can only reliably remove the inherent threat posed by defective states if intervention produces a project of political transformation. This suggests three questions (which make up the focus of the paper as a whole). First, if outside forces are not to blame, what is there within defective states that explains their failings? Second, what form should an external response to these problems take and, third, what sort of political transformation should that external response seek to enact within the target state? © ROAPE Publications Ltd., 2005.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-233
Number of pages18
JournalReview of African Political Economy
Issue number104-105
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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