Triggers of State Failure


  1. Hales, D.
  2. Miller, J.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);CAE Professional Services, Ottawa (ON)
This work examines the nature of triggering events culminating in state failure, and analyzes characteristics in an attempt to determine tendencies and linkages between triggering events and types of conflict. Terms like state, state failure, and trigger are defined for use within the project scope. Existing analytical models are summarized to situate the requirement for a comprehensive model accommodating a consideration of triggers. Conclusions and recommendations provide summations of the project findings and identify options for a way ahead. A more time-sensitive predictive tool for state failure requires incorporation of proximate causes as a precursor to triggering events. This work provides an analysis of the triggers to state failure since 1955 using data from the Political Instability Task Force (PITF), with a specific focus on post-1990 events as a contribution to development of DRDC’s predictive model for state failure. This work is not a manual or authoritative guide. It presents an initial analysis of how structural factors, proximate causes and triggering events could be sewn into a single iterative model for the prediction of state instability and state failure and characterization of triggering events. The overwhelming focus is on the latter.

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

weak, fragile, failing, and failing states;destabilizing events, proximate causes
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2008-054 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Mar 2010
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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