Capabilities, International Order and Risk: State Failure and Governance Intervention in Theory and History

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Sharman, Jason

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Weller, Patrick

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2010
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Abstract

This study examines the phenomenon of “failed” states and governance intervention in comparative historical and international systemic context. The dissertation argues that state failure is a condition partly constructed by the leading actors of international society. The study advances a three-part framework for analysis to understand how leading states and their close allies interpret what constitutes a state failure and how an interventionist policy response is formulated. Interpretations of state failure and modes of governance intervention are based on the interplay of transnational disorder with the (1) distribution of capabilities in the international system, the (2) pattern of order in the international society, and the (3) sensitivity of the domestic polities of leading actors to risk. This framework for analysis is applied to three qualitative case studies of state “failure” and “governance” intervention selected on system polarity: the 1882 British occupation of Egypt; the United States combat intervention in South Vietnam, 1965; and Australia’s Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) in 2003.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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Centre for Governance and Public Policy

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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Subject

State failure

Governance intervention

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