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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Failing States

Daniel Thürer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 05 August 2021

Subject(s):
Secession — Armed conflict — Geneva Conventions 1949 — Protected persons and property — Sovereignty — Customary international law — Responsibility of individuals — Responsibility of states — Rule of law — Governments

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The term ‘failing State’ generally refers to the collapse and dissolution of States. It has entered international legal jargon only recently, despite the fact that in many States, governments have not been able to discharge their tasks in a satisfactory manner for decades. Yet such States are generally not deemed to have failed unless their internal chaos starts to affect the international community: only if the State ceases to exist as a participant in international affairs will it be referred to as a failing State. Overall, such failure is still rare, but...
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