Fragile States and International Support

What is a fragile state?Fragile states, like Tolstoy’s unhappy families, have little in common. They are best defined by what they are not: they are neither cohesive, common-interest states, nor effectively repressive autocratic states. These are the two types of state that are able to maintain order, and achieve compliance from citizens that enable a range of state functions. With rare exceptions such as North Korea, this is sufficient for the society to avoid mass poverty. Fragile states are not necessarily in open conflict, but there is no clear bulwark against large-scale disorder. So defined, it is evidently useful to spell out how common-interest and repressive autocratic states each maintain order. .../...

Collier, P. "Fragile States and International Support", Ferdi Working Paper P175, November 2016