Reasons Behind Failed States – Research Paper

The Reasons Underlying Failed States – Written Assignment

Use the Internet to research one developing nation of your choice. Your research should include an examination of the effects that issues such as bad governance, civil war and corruption have on the creation of states that have failed.

Write a six- to eight-page paper in which you:

  1. Identify the factors that contribute to a state’s failure to deliver good governance to its people.  Support your response with concrete examples of each of the results that you have cited.
  2. Analyze why the specific actions taken by the leadership of the selected country have failed.
  3. Discuss the prospects for success in the selected country and support your response with examples.
  4. Use at least seven quality academic resources in this assignment.

Reasons Behind Failed States – Sample Research Paper


The reason why states fail is because they are convulsed by internal violence to the point where they are no longer in a position to deliver positive political influences to the inhabitants. The legitimacy of the governments becomes destroyed, and the nature of the nation state becomes illegitimate in the eyes of its growing number of citizens. The rise and fall of states is not a new phenomenon; however in this modern era states constitute an important building block of a legitimate world order. Therefore, violent disintegration of some of the selected states may threaten the very foundation of the world order. International organizations consequently become drawn into the conflicts and the not so smooth humanitarian relief. It is difficult to achieve stability and predictability when so many of the newly formed states are wavering between weakness and failure, with some truly failing (Patrick, 2011). This paper features the identification and analysis of the reasons behind failed states.

Factors That Contribute to a State’s Failure to Deliver Good Governance to Its People

No single definition of governance has been accepted. Its meaning varies between conservatives and the liberals, and between socialists and the communists. For example, the World Bank has sought to take a neutral position by defining it as “the traditions and the institutions by which authority in a country is exercised.” (Gurfinkiel, 2014) This includes (i) the procedure followed when selecting governments, monitoring and replacing them; (ii) the ability of the selected government to effectively develop and implement sound policies; and lastly (iii) the respect which citizens and the state has for the institutions meant to govern their economic and social communications. In this paper, the meaning of the word governance will be confined to the public domain only. This is because the type of governance being featured in this paper is the one which serves citizens by offering them security of the state integrity, as well as safeguarding their individual security, rule of law, and also service delivery (Kumar & Narain, 2014).

There are two major factors that contribute to a state’s failure to deliver good governance to its people. These include; the criminalization of politics and corruption.

Criminalization of Politics

The criminalization of the political process and the poor relationship between politicians, civil servants, and business organizations are two factors that are greatly influencing the public policy formulation and governance negatively (Ezrow & Frantz, 2013). The political class is no longer respected as it should be. For example, the Indian State is facing great challenges due to these factors. Its authority is being threatened from lawless elements. The jehadi terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir that started slow, but then spread to other parts of the state; insurgency in the North-East region; and even the rapidly expanding naxalite movement base in the state are some of the things that are greatly challenging the democratic governance of the state. Fortunately, such criminal movements are being addressed by all citizens, and their effects on the state are being contained. This, however, is because the movements are known to be wrong as they pose a threat to the life and property of the people living in India.

The more insidious threat to the democratic governance of this state is from the criminals in sheep clothing, who manage to enter into state legislative assemblies and even national parliament in big numbers (Kumar & Narain, 2014). Politics is the new criminal movement that is yet to be uncovered. This is because criminals view the state offices as an opportunity for them to carry out their illegal activities and still be able to get away without punishment. Here, “no arm of the law is above you.” Unfortunately, despite the fact that both the media and the public are not mute to this phenomenon, the criminals still manage to devise new methods that will allow them to fiddle away with the requirements of the law (Singh, 2014). Only a few are actually sent to jail to serve their term once they are exposed. Others seem to get away for free through threats and other illegal activities imposed on the people who are willing to make them pay. Therefore, the criminalization of politics is a factor that affects good governance as it interferes with the real intentions of office.


This is a factor that acts as a major obstacle in any attempts to improve governance quality. Good governance cannot be achieved when criminals who pose a threat to the values that need protection are left to walk free every day. For example, India suffers from its high level of corruption which sees to it that its quality of governance is not improved.

Read also Effects of Corruption on Capitalism and Foreign Investment

For instance, the state has been forced to keep up with a rather complex and non-transparent command and control system, the underdeveloped legal frameworks, the uninformed citizens and a weak notion of their citizens’ rights (Singh, Sharma & Jha, 2014). These are all factors that contribute to corruption as the citizens remain in the dark as to what is actually happening in parliament and how state resources are being spent. Therefore, corruption stands in the way of good governance as it prevents the implementation of any positive changes that are essential to a state (Gurfinkiel, 2014).

Why Specific Actions Taken By the Leadership of India Failed

Despite the presence of criminals in leadership, the state has some genuine leaders who try to ensure that the failure of state is avoided at all costs by trying to control corruption and poor governance. Unfortunately for India, such actions have failed due to the fact that the state is being ruled by criminals who are only in office for their own personal benefits. The main objective of the political class is not to improve the quality of governance or advance national interests, but to acquire power (Patrick, 2011). The ideology of democracy is only used to blindfold citizens, who are thirsty for change and improvements, to elect the criminals into office. However, after being sworn in, the focus becomes to extract perks from both the public and private sectors, and to act as each other’s shields from accountability (Gurfinkiel, 2014). This is why it is always difficult to note any missing money or resources when an audit is performed.

The Prospects for Success in India

The challenges of criminalization of politics and corruption in India can be addressed through various ways to ensure change is finally achieved, and that India is resuscitated. The first step is to ensure that the citizens of this state are educated on their rights. For example, the right to information is very important, but still not many understand it. Any individual in India has a right to demand to know how their resources are being used, the past of their leaders and so on (Agrawal, 2012). Second, a new policy that prevents individuals with a criminal past from entering into office should be implemented. This is important as it will be more effective in filtering out the criminals from the true leaders who want to bring about change. Third, the government should not be involved in bodies like CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and CVC (Central Vigilance Commission) (Das & Kurtz, 2015). These bodies are responsible for looking into high official cases that link them to corruption and other criminal activities. Lastly, civil servants need to be trained further on how to carry out activities such as auditing, accountancy and other legal matters.

How Funding In the Form of Aid, Investment, and Loans Moves from Industrialized Nations to the Developing World to Alleviate the Problems Caused By Warfare

When a developing country is challenged by warfare, industrialized nations frequently provide funding to help alleviate the problems caused. This may happen through various ways such as sending aid, offering investments and even loans to the country. Aid moves from industrialized countries to the suffering destination through transportation such as air, road or sea. It is usually in form of the things which the country needs. For instance, food, shelter, clothes and so on. Organizations such as the UN are responsible for this movement. Investments are done directly from the industrialized country. A country affected by warfare faces financial challenges due to losses gained from destroyed property and businesses. Investments offer help as the country will be able to maintain its economy through investors who bring in funds for running businesses. Lastly, the country may need loans to pick up from the effects of the war. An industrialized country may offer the government loans to be able to keep its economy afloat.


In conclusion, the main factors influencing the failure of states lie within the government itself. With the availability of reliable leaders in office, a government can be able to offer its required service to the people, thus enhancing development. The case of India is a good example of how government officials are causing the failure of their states simply because they are greedy and selfish. The citizens of a country also have a responsibility towards triggering change. They just need to be able to understand their rights as stipulated in various laws and policies.

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