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Weak LinksFragile States, Global Threats, and International Security$
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Stewart Patrick

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199751501

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751501.001.0001

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Conclusions and Policy Implications

Conclusions and Policy Implications

(p.242) Conclusions and Policy Implications
Weak Links

Patrick Stewart

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes the preceding discussions and presents some recommendations. This book has sought to map the intersection between state weakness and particular threats, and to trace those “spillovers” to specific gaps in state capacity or will. As its findings show, the overlap between state weakness and today's most pressing transnational threats is hardly clear-cut, much less universal. It depends on the threat in question, the specific sources and manifestations of state weakness, and the will of ruling regimes to deliver effective governance and control transnational spillovers. In sum, it is a mistake to frame the world's fragile states, as a cohort, as a mortal threat to US and global security. Policymakers and analysts alike need to take a collective “time out”, and begin an honest conversation about the relative strategic importance of fragile states—as well as the alternative rationales, including alleviating poverty and human suffering, for engaging them.

Keywords:   weak states, transnational threats, US security, global security, poverty alleviation

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