State Legitimacy and Failure in International Law


Failing states share characteristics of inadequate structural competency, including, inter alia, the inability to advance human welfare and security. Economic inequalities and corruption are present, as well as a loss of legitimacy and reduced social cohesion. Failure of rule of law is manifested in areas of judicial adjudication, security, reduced territorial control and systemic political instability. The international community often confronts these challenges in a manner that actually complicates issues further through lack of consensus among state actors. Consequently, a new and emerging concept of sovereignty requires review in terms of the postmodern state. Through scholarly consideration, State Legitimacy and Failure in International Law evaluates gaps in structural competency that precipitate state failure and examines the resulting consequences for the world community
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Biographical Note

Dr. Mario Silva, Ph.D. is an international legal scholar, a former Canadian Parliamentarian and the 2013 Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. He is a graduate of Oxford University and NUI Galway and has been decorated by the governments of Brazil, France and Portugal.

Table of contents

Introduction Part I: The Origins of State Formation Chapter 1: The Creation of the State in International Law - Historical Background 1.1 Criteria and Conditions for Statehood 1.2 Emergence of the Modern State System Chapter 2: State Failure – Internal and External Factors 2.1 Defining State Failure 2.2 Causes and Structural Indicators 2.3 Legacy of Colonialism 2.4 Terrorism 2.5 Limitations in Measuring State Failure Part II: State Obligations and the Enforcement of International Law Chapter 3: International Human Rights Law 3.1 Human Rights Instruments 3.1.2 Humanitarian Law 3.2 Human Security – An emerging paradigm Chapter 4: State Responsibility - Obligations to Prosecute 4.1 Principle of Universal Jurisdiction 4.2 Humanitarian Intervention 4.3 Practice of the Security Council – opinio juris Part III: Reconstruction and Mobilizing the International Community Chapter 5: Prevention and Rehabilitation: Strengthening States Against Failure 5.1 State-Building and Reconstruction 5.2 Building Rule of Law 5.3 Establishing Accountability – Ending impunity 5.4 Establishing Security 5.5 Disarmament and Demobilization 5.6 Economic and Social Reconstruction 5.7 Role of Civil Society – Women and Minorities 5.8 Reconstituting Political Structure and Legitimacy 5.9 Reconciliation – Transitional Justice 5.10 Lessons Learned Chapter 6: Challenges for the International Community 6.1 Role of United Nations 6.1.1 Humanitarian Assistance 6.1.2 Peacekeeping and Conflict Prevention 6.1.3 Transitional Occupation 6.2 Institutional Reform, Trusteeship – Limited Sovereignty General Conclusion


The book is interdisciplinary and useful for students and policy makers in the field of international law, public policy and international relations.