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State fragility and international structures: tracing the effects of global war on terrorism (GWoT)

Islam Khan, M. Z. (2019) State fragility and international structures: tracing the effects of global war on terrorism (GWoT). PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

This research investigates the external drivers of state fragility taking the global war on terrorism (GWoT) as a proxy of international structure. States in a global system do not live in isolation; the ideational and material factors of the international structures can affect states’ trajectory toward resilience or fragility. Accordingly, the research investigates, how and under what conditions the ideational and material factors of the GWoT affects state fragility? State fragility is defined as a condition when a state is incapable of binding the ideational and material factors, leading to the lack of legitimacy amongst its people and/or the capacity to perform core state functions. Fragile condtions are categorised as type-1, type-2 and type-3 fragility based on state’s lacking in capacity, legitimacy or both. The strcuture of the GWoT is defined and theorised under the cognitive, regulatory and capability pathways, through which they can affect fragile states, using the process tracing methodology. Consequently, three case studies on Mali, Bangladesh and Myanmar, representing type-1, 2 and 3 state fragility respectively, test the theorised pathways. The research finds evidence that, in fragile states, the cognitive and capability pathways of the GWoT matters the most, shaping the ‘othering’ process, identity politics and the use of state’s coercive apparatus contributing to fragility. However, it is unclear whether the regulatory pathway has much influence, as it does not strengthen capacity, and they remain poorly implemented in fragile states. The research adds to the extant critical literature on state fragility by offering an original conceptualisation and theorisation of the cognitive, regulatory and capability pathways of the GWoT that can be used to investigate any other case studies or extrapolated to make a similar analysis of, for example, global/regional security or economic structures.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Zaum, D. and Binder, M.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:87054

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