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Weak and Failing States in South Asia

The events of 9/11 catapulted concerns about ‘failed’ states to the centre stage of world politics. These states are those that are believed to provide fertile breeding ground for terror networks, since they are seen to provide ideal conditions for training, indoctrination, access to weapons and financial resources for their activities. It is commonly argued that weak and failing states are the primary bases for operations for most ‘US-designated foreign terrorist organizations’, including the al-Qaeda, since states that are not in control of their own territories and people, are seen as suffering from a ‘vacuum’ that terrorists, criminal groups or insurgents can fill up.

While there have been numerous theories and formulations on the idea of Weak and Failing States, mostly they have been authored by scholars from West. The Institute is working on the subject to understand from a South Asian perspective.

In the recent months, the Institute has the published following on this subject, from a South Asian perspective:

Issue Brief 150, May 2010
The Fragile Regions of South Asia: Why States Fail in Parts?
D Suba Chandran

Issue Brief No. 100, April 2009
Failure or Functional Anarchy? Understanding Weak/Failing States in South Asia
D Suba Chandran

Special Report No. 67, March 2009
Failed States & Foreign Military Intervention: The Afghanistan Imbroglio
Sonali Huria

Research Paper No. 19, February 2009
Nepal: A Failing State or a State in Transition?
Oliver Housden


The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

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