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Determining The Absence Of Effective Government In Public International Law

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Chapter Summary

The social and political sciences were already dealing with the absence of effective government by the 1980s, but international law first focused on the issue at the beginning of the 1990s. The notion of the 'failed state' was a rallying cry for U.S. foreign policy and UN peace-keeping and peace enforcement operations in the 1990s. The article by Helman and Ratner mainly described the North's approach to the absence of effective government. Two features of the article in particular defined the concept of the 'failed state' for the international community: 1) basing the problem on the state's inability to function and 2) identifying the international community as the main actor to help the states under United Nations 'conservatorship'. These and other important claims concerning the concept of the 'failed state' are discussed in this chapter.

Keywords: failed state; Helman; international law; Ratner; U.S. foreign policy; United Nations



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