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Fragility, Instability, and the Failure of States: Assessing Sources of Systemic Risk

A CPA Working Paper

Author: Monty G. Marshall

Fragility, Instability, and the Failure of States: Assessing Sources of Systemic Risk - fragility-instability-and-the-failure-of-states-assessing-sources-of-systemic-risk

Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press

Release Date October 2008

28 pages


This Center for Preventive Action Working Paper surveys existing approaches to assessing state fragility and failure within the context of development, conflict, and governance. It examines the risk factors that have been identified through systematic inquiry and research with the goal of improving the prospects for successful conflict prevention and management, and argues that the goal of "early warning" relating to state fragility and failure should be more to inform and temper our expectations for policy response than to trigger costly and risky interventions.

More About This Publication

Monty G. Marshall is a research professor in the George Mason University School of Public Policy and director of research at the Center for Global Policy. He established and directs the Center for Systemic Peace; he also directs the Armed Conflict and Intervention (ACI) and Polity IV data projects, which provide annual assessments of violent conflict and governance in all countries of the world. He has been a senior consultant with the U.S. government's Political Instability Task Force since 1998. Dr. Marshall's publications include the Global Report on Conflict, Governance, and State Fragility series; Conflict Trends in Africa; and Third World War: System, Process, and Conflict Dynamics.