What is a state?
What is state capacity?
What is a failed state?
Definition: A set of institutions that possesses the exclusive legitimate authority to make and coercively enforce laws that are binding on the population within a given territory
What do we mean by institutions, and how do these institutions help to ‘coercively enforce’ a country’s laws?
Three levels of state power
Federalism: A system in which regional legislatures, executives (governors), judiciaries and police have substantial authority to make, review and enforce their own laws
Legitimacy: the extent to which the population accepts the authority of the state
Three main types of legitimacy
Scope: the reach of the state; the extent of state regulation and intervention in the lives of its citizens
Strength: the ability of the state to perform its most basic functions, i.e. to enforce the law it generates
State fragility refers to a loss of capacity or legitimacy that leaves citizens vulnerable to calamity
State failure refers to a loss of capacity or legitimacy to the extent that the state can no longer perform its most basic functions