In the last fifty years, the international community has undergone a transformation, as social, economic, and political dynamics have been altered. In fact, the international power structure has shifted towards a more complex structure, economies have been largely liberalized, new powerful international actors have emerged, and security threats have altered significantly. These transformations impacted all nation States. Indeed, a new standard of governance emerged that resulted in increased responsibility to each State's nationals. Similarly, States have become increasingly interindependent and have additional (both in numbers and substance) obligations towards each other and the international community in general. Certain States, however, are unable to operate in this new system of increased responsibility, in terms of obligations towards other States, the international community, and their citizens. These States--often referred to as fragile, failing, or failed States-become ineffective actors in the international stage. This poses multiple problems for the international community as certain necessary obligations (including, for example, border patrols, air traffic control, and health and environmental monitoring) and required acts failed to be performed, making the entire system weaker. This article examines why it is important for international law to recognize the phenomena of State fragility and State failure and to be able to adequately respond to it.
Chiara Giorgetti, Why Should International Law Be Concerned About State Failure?, 16 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. 469 (2010).