African Failed States and the Personal Rule Paradigm


This research has the goal of understanding the creation of African failed states and to explore preventative measures for a continent that in the past has been plagued by factional warlords, ethnic violence and kleptocracy. If one can isolate the catalysts that initiate failed statehood then they can prevent or at least slow the process in hopes of a state regaining its footing in the sovereign world. Understanding failed statehood allows for suggestions on how to rebuild a nation that has fallen into disaccord. The research attempts to explain the prevailing elements in the emergence of failed statehood and to briefly suggest solutions to these problems faced specifically on the African continent. The common indicators of failed statehood listed by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in The Failed States Index and in the article The Failed State and International Law by Dr. Daniel Thurer will be examined against the multiple case study of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone and Somalia. By choosing to focus on countries in three distinct regions of Africa, Central, Western, and the Horn of Africa, the research has a broad base to draw from to show that the indicators of failed states are universal throughout the continent. The approach used to explain failed statehood in Africa will be the Personal Rule Paradigm in Africa's Stalled Development: International Causes and Cures by Leonard and Straus as a contributing factor of failed states due to the fact it is so prevalent throughout the linear history of Africa beginning with the influence of European colonialism.


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Thesis Completion





Young, Kurt B.


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences

Degree Program

Political Science


Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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