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Chapter Summary

State failure presents a multitude of challenges for the international community and has been linked not only to civil wars and other serious conflicts but also to poverty, famine and other social disasters. Failed states rarely exist in isolation and have often been referred to as Petri dishes for transnational criminal activity, arms smuggling, human trafficking and terrorism, bases for piracy (Somalia) and sources of drug production. Much has changed since the days of the Westphalian concept of statehood. The current era is one of globalization, which has led to a debate over the implications of state sovereignty and the Westphalian system. Today, there is a fully interconnected global order where what happens in one state has an impact on another. With the emergence of regional and international law- especially human rights law- the notion of state sovereignty has been challenged.

Keywords: arms smuggling; human trafficking; international community; international law; piracy; social disasters; state failure; terrorism; transnational criminal activity; Westphalian system

10.1163/9789004268845_009
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