Failed states are characterized by widespread violence and outright war. They pose a threat not only to the livelihood of the millions of people living in them, but also to broader international security and stability. This empirical paper uses a two stage large-N rare events logistic regression analysis to, 1) create an estimate of a state’s structural fragility and 2) test the effect of four exogenous risk factors on state failure onset. It investigates how states at various levels of fragility respond to shock events such as economic growth shocks, refugee influxes, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters. Findings indicate that high fragility scores lead to an increased propensity of state failure. Moreover, the study observes that the probability of state failure depends on the type of exogenous shock experienced. The results of the study indicate that incidents of terrorism have a maximum likelihood effect of 57.6 per cent, economic growth shocks have up to a 13.7 per cent effect, refugee influx shocks have up to a 7.6 per cent effect, and, finally, disaster shocks have maximum likelihood effects of 30.8 per cent. These results have key policy implications for international engagement in fragile states, indicating that greater attention must be paid to both the level of fragility and the nature of shock events in unstable environments.
Bozzelli, Daniele, Anne Durning and Fred Ninh. 2015. "Understanding State Failure: A Two-Stage Empirical Analysis of the Influence of Exogenous Shock Events in Fragile States." Paterson Review of International Affairs 14 (January): 92-106. http://diplomatonline.com/mag/pdf/Paterson_Review_Volume_14.pdf#page=98