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Typology of State Types: Persistence and Transition

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Journal Article

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Defence Research and Development Canada Ottawa Canada

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Research on state fragility has seldom examined questions of persistence and transition of states. We develop a six-fold typology of states to examine how key structural features of states evolve and contribute to successful exits from fragility in some cases and persistence in others. Particularly worrisome is the lack of positive transition among the weakest states. Our findings are derived from a minimalist construct of a refined time series dataset involving state indicators of authority, legitimacy, and capacity. Case studies of some of the more turbulent examples support our state trajectories. Additionally, changes in legitimacy most often led state transitions into or out of fragility. Implications of intervention policy for transitioning states out of fragility are addressed, and these are given particular focus since fragile states experience at least twice the intensityincidence of internal armed conflict compared to other states.

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