Theoretical Delimitation and Conceptualisation of the Phenomenon of Failed and Collapsed States

  • Tomáš Šmíd
  • Vladimír Vaďura
Keywords: Weak state, failed state, collapsed state, quasi-state, Third World, post-colonialism, Cold War, war economy, natural resource, internal conflict


The terms "weak", "failed", and "collapsed", among others, were used to describe the specific condition of a state for the first time rather recently. The research of a state's strength or weakness reacted to the processes of decolonisation and the collapse of the bipolar configuration of international relations. The theoretical and methodological settlement of this phenomenon in the context of political science is still a great challenge for academic society. This article aims to conceptualize the problematics of weakening and collapse of state power. The authors don't try to challenge the current conceptions of Rotberg, Zartman, etc., but to categorise these theoretical approaches into three dimensions in the context of the parametres the authors of these conceptions work with. The three dimensions that are introduced are the one of international relations, the economic one and the socio-political one. The article concludes with the presentation of the Fund for Peace tool, which tries to include all these dimensions.

Author Biographies

Tomáš Šmíd



Vladimír Vaďura