Ungoverned Space, Fragile States, and Global Threats: Deconstructing Linkages

By Chloe A. Diggins
2011, Vol. 3 No. 03 | pg. 1/1

It is widely recognized that state security is no longer contingent upon a balance of power or the threat of conquering states, but global stability is now instead jeopardized by weak or fragile states. Fragile states represent chaos, disorder, and underdevelopment, and their very existence threatens not only the security of the developed world, but the capitalist, consumer-driven lifestyle to which the Western world is accustomed. Of critical concern are the global circulatory flows affiliated with poverty, conflict, and migration, which carry the potential to destabilize and undermine Western society. Mark Duffield argues that the Western humanitarian project of development seeks to manage such threats, and as such, is a neo-imperial technology of governance that serves to intervene and administer the underdeveloped world.1 Thus, humanitarian and economic development is an essential tool for securing, promoting, and perpetuating the Western capitalist order as it reduces poverty and encourages stability, thereby managing the unfavorable flows emanating from the underdeveloped world.

Despite this, some fragile states have resisted, rejected or subverted Western intervention and are now considered especially menacing because they ‘lack the capacity to become aid-dependant and thus a known part of the West’s sovereign frontier’.2 Due to the limited institutional and/or organizational power that the developed world can exercise in such places, as well as the lack of hegemonic influence that the West holds over local populations, these places have come to be known as ungoverned spaces. Ungoverned spaces epitomize the threat to Western security because of their incapacity to be governed effectively, or more precisely, governed in a way that is in alignment with the Western capitalist project. Terrorism, drug trafficking, criminal networks, infectious diseases and illegal migrants are said to exist in and flow from ungoverned areas, and therefore containing these spaces within the Western sovereign frontier is a strategic priority for security policy. But can a space ever be truly ungoverned, or is this a normative judgement on alternate forms of governance? Furthermore, how exactly are ungoverned spaces connected to the outside world, and is the threat that ungoverned spaces pose to global security realistic or unfounded? To answer these questions, we must construct a framework of ungoverned space that establishes their social function in terms of how different actors engage with and within ungoverned space.

This paper evaluates the connection between ungoverned space and global threat.

A comprehensive literature review identifies some common shortfalls in current practice that have lead to misconceptions about the function of ungoverned space. Conventional fragile state policies tend to distort ungoverned space, in that they deny alternate governance structures, misrepresent the role of the developed world in creating ungoverned space, and fail to critically analyze the multi-directional flow of global circulation. These distortions are considered from a theoretical perspective and form the crux of the argument. This paper also deconstructs ungoverned space in order to critically reflect upon the objective and abstract qualities that shape spaces of political, social, and economic exchange. In doing so, this essay determines exactly how ungoverned spaces are connected to the outside world, and thus how (and to what extent) they may be considered a threat to global security.

The complexity of defining fragile states and ungoverned space has been noted throughout the literature.3 Though there are several useful models for evaluating weak states, there appears to be no universal agreement, and too often are the political, economic, and social composition of these states homogenized through comparison with other ‘failed’ states. In Stewart Patrick’s words, ‘definitions [obscure the] cultural legacies, historical experiences and current challenges’ of weak states.4 Essentially, the standard for comparison is ambiguous at best, and fails to account for the unique and individual context of each fragile state, especially when distinguishing between political will and governmental capacity.

Duffield employs a common conception of the fragile state that ‘denotes such things as a chronic lack of state capacity, political fragmentation and social isolation’.5 He explicitly correlates fragility with global instability, arguing that development in the fragile state context is a form of counter-insurgency. However, Duffield is not concerned with dissecting the various symptoms, conditions, and typologies of fragile states, but rather, perceives of them as embedded features within international governance. Consequently, he discusses the evolution of policy from humanitarianism to capacity building, which is predicated upon the idea that because of ungoverned space, fragile states are vulnerable to colonization by agents of insecurity, specifically terrorists and drug traffickers. His objective is to critically examine fragile state discourse to illustrate his theory of contingent sovereignty, which holds to the idea that fragile states represent a threat to Western security.

Conversely, Patrick questions the explicit link between weak states and transnational threats, arguing that several factors should be considered before this dialectic is established.6 He notes that while most developed nations have adapted policies and diplomatic relations to account for the threat posed by weak states, little effort has been made to effectively analyze the linkages between state weakness and global threats. For example, countless variables including political, religious, cultural, and geographic factors shape the distribution of global threats, and it is therefore counter-intuitive to claim that weak states (and ungoverned spaces) represent a universal threat.7 Instead, Patrick contends that it is more productive to determine categories of failed states and how (if at all) these states may be connected to security threats, as this would afford more effective, customized responses in policy. In this sense, Patrick departs from Duffield by offering a more complex conceptualization of fragile states, but in his contention that the shift in policy focus from conquering states to ineffective ones is mirrored by the evolution from humanitarianism to securitization, Patrick is in agreement with Duffield.

There have also been several divergences in the literature on the understanding of ungoverned space. Some authors such as Duffield, examine ungoverned space only in relation to fragile states, where others, such as Anne Clunan, adopt a more critical approach, questioning the concept altogether. Like Patrick, Clunan critiques the common misconceptions that link fragile states, ungoverned spaces and global threats. Clunan explores the problematic of ungoverned space, asserting that the term implies an absence of governance or authority, thereby denying alternative governance structures that may be in place, and misrepresenting the ways that people operate within such spaces. Thus, declaring a space ungoverned is actually a ‘normative judgement on the type of governance’, or the way in which a space is governed.8

Clunan also argues that ungoverned spaces are not necessarily due to state incapacity- in many cases these areas have been created as an aftereffect of the introduction of neo-liberal policies and the increased circulation of global flows. Consequently, the Western project of promoting ‘state capacity, state building, and in some cases, state creation’ is misguided in its disproportionate emphasis on state-centric institutional reform.9 Monika François and Inder Sud offer a similar version of this argument, claiming that the large injection of funds by donor governments into fragile states is ‘ineffective in promoting the goal of state building, and indeed may undermine it’.10 Unlike Clunan, their dispute with the state-building response is not that it is state-centric, but rather that it is geared towards delivering quick and visible results instead of being concerned with introducing legitimate, long-term, sustainable social change.

François and Sud also contest that in the context of fragile states, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) undermine state capacity because they implement projects and provide social services that run parallel to state-endorsed programs. In this sense, by bypassing the state and creating alternate aid distribution models, NGOs (and aid donors) actually destroy any pre-existing capacity that a fragile state may have. Duffield supports this, asserting that NGOs have become a petty sovereign power, occupying a political space within the state that is in many ways more influential than the state itself. James Ferguson contends that the outsourcing of state functions to NGOs has only further fractured the unstable and ungoverned areas of Africa, resulting in a ‘patchwork of transnationally networked bits’.11 Ferguson refers to spaces as ‘enclaves’, where some have benefited from heavy foreign investment (usually due to the presence of natural resources), and others have been entirely excluded from the advantages of globalization. This separation of enclaves has culminated in ‘transnational governmentality’, or widespread governance by NGOs.12

Like Ferguson, Clunan introduces the idea of ‘softened sovereignty’, which is comparable to Duffield’s contingent sovereignty, in that it evokes a space where ‘territorial state control has been voluntarily or involuntarily ceded in whole or in part to actors other than the relevant legally recognized sovereign authorities’.13 However, unlike Duffield, Clunan does not specifically refer to this space as being occupied by NGOs. Bartosz Stanislawski describes these spaces as ‘black spots’.14 In his account, black spots are ‘territorial entities in which non-state actors challenge state sovereignty and gain local dominance’ and further, that they ‘remain in the grey area between formal international recognition and semi-formal central control’.15 Though Stanislawski recognizes the alternative authority structures and the unique socio-economic dynamics of black spots, his understanding of ungoverned spaces, much like Duffield, is heavily politico-geographic in that he neglects the forces that transform these spaces into abstract networks that transcend regional and national borders.

Several researchers have examined the importance of the fluidity of ungoverned space, in that it is often not limited to operating within state borders, but is connected to transnational networks of exchange. Paul Gootenberg, for example, has explored this phenomenon in relation to illicit drug flows from ungoverned spaces across state borders, which he claims are crucial to globalization theory.16 Didier Bigo also argues that global networks of crime and ungoverned space (in company with other globalizing forces) have eroded borders and deterritorialized the nation state, resulting in the convergence of internal and external security.17 Timothy Brown suggests that the nation state has been deterritorialized in other ways, specifically that the US-Mexican border is divided by the political sovereignty of two separate states, but is a distinct area that is in many ways economically sovereign.18 Ferguson, however, claims that territorialized foreign investment has fragmented nation states by producing secured enclaves that are connected to the global economy, while simultaneously creating marginalized pockets of ungoverned space. This is because the capital generated in secured enclaves bypasses the rest of the state, thereby excluding large sections of the population from any profit or social investment. Ferguson therefore illustrates how globalization is not expanding across contiguous spaces, but is skipping between ‘discrete points’ that represent the concentration of foreign investment.19

While the above texts represent only a small sample of literature on ungoverned spaces, they illustrate the complex internal and external forces that are shaping ungoverned space. Some of these texts also represent some critical insufficiencies in the theory of ungoverned space. These include explicitly linking ungoverned space with global threats; implicating the absence of any governance structure;20 failing to critically analyze the role of the developed world in constructing ungoverned space; disregarding the multi-directional flow of illicit trade through criminal networks; and failing to recognize the existence of ungoverned space in the developed world. Attention will now turn to explaining these analytical shortcomings in further detail.

Ungoverned Space as a Global Threat

Though it may be true that fragile states often cultivate instability, in many cases the correlation between local instability and global threat is conditional at best. As Patrick argues, there has been ‘little empirical evidence [underpinning the] sweeping assertions and policy developments’ geared towards minimizing threats from ungoverned space.21 Furthermore, in light of the diverse cultural, social, political, and historical legacies that ungoverned spaces represent, it has not been adequately established which spaces pose what threats. Evidently, once a state moves beyond the Western sovereign frontier, notwithstanding whether it is labeled as collapsed, failed, fragile, weak, or ineffective; or indeed, how suitable this label may be, “their” instability is discursively constructed as a threat to “our” security, yet the nature of this threat is not clearly distinguished.

For example, if we take Pakistan to be a fragile state with pockets of ungoverned space, then the threat that emanates from that space is substantially different to any threat that may originate in the ungoverned spaces of Timor-Leste. This is largely due to the difference in resources that agents of insecurity are able to command in each context, but it is also compounded by the complex historical and political relationship between these states and the rest of the world. Where Pakistan is of concern because of a number of factors regarding its proximity to Afghanistan (and associated spillover effects), the success of regional military operations, and nuclear weapon ownership, Timor-Leste is threatening only insofar as political instability affects local humanitarian projects. The argument here is that different ungoverned spaces represent different threats, and an ungoverned space should not automatically be perceived as a threat to global stability.

We may also question the extent to which ungoverned spaces can be construed of as threats when there are many parts of the ‘governed’ world that pose serious threats to stability. Patrick claims that while state weakness may be a favorable condition for crime and corruption, it certainly is not a prerequisite. For example, middle-income countries such as Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China, and South Africa may not be considered fragile states, but they harbor some of the most dangerous and threatening drug trafficking cartels, criminal networks, fundamentalist ideology, and communicable diseases in the world.22 Finally, while ungoverned spaces offer an appealing incentive for criminal activity, a degree of capacity is still required to access financial institutions and communication resources, so operating in more effective states is actually more strategic.23

Denying Alternate Governance

To better understand the threats emanating from ungoverned spaces, Clunan asserts that the emergence of alternative authority and governance structures in contested spaces begs consideration. In her view, ungoverned space is ‘far more complex than state failure, lack of state capacity or political will’.24 It may be the case that some states have ‘simply never exercised authority, while other authority structures persisted’.25 This is especially true when considering long-established tribal and ethnic hierarchies; land that is inhabited by traditional nomadic peoples; entrenched indigenous law and customs; religious authorities; and the existence of criminal and informal economies. Though these forms of governance often operate outside of state governance structures, their authority is entirely legitimate amongst local populations. Thus, a lack of recognized governmental control does not indicate that a place or space is ungoverned.

These alternate governance structures impact upon the social function of a given space by influencing the local population. This is achieved through the spread of ideology, the provision of social services and welfare, employment opportunities, and in some cases, intimidation. For instance, Duffield observes that despite their illegitimacy, criminal networks often play a pivotal role in the local community because they become de facto powers within sovereign voids; offering new ‘forms of local protection and legitimacy’.26 Furthermore, non-state actors recognize the effectiveness of governance that enfranchises the dispossessed by recruiting local agents and integrating local forms of resistance with wider struggles.

Therefore, by denying the local governance structures that may be in place (legitimate or not), the social organization of a space is distorted. According to Duffield, ungoverned spaces represent the ‘responsibility to reconstruct’, but this is very much based on a normative assessment of alternate types of authority and diminishes the significance of pre-existing structures of governance.

The Role of the Developed World

If we take ungoverned space within fragile states to be a threat to Western security, then the role that the West has played in creating those spaces is often downplayed. Many fragile states, particularly in Africa, have struggled for stable, legitimate governance since gaining independence. Patrick points out that a contributing factor to this instability is the post-colonial period of artificial state creation, which involved concretizing ambiguous and arbitrary borders that ‘encompass diverse and often fractious political communities’.27 Robert Jackson contends that these ‘quasi-states’ are territorial jurisdictions that are circumscribed only by international law and foreign aid, and not by internal coherence.28 Therefore, they ‘appear to be juridical more than empirical entities.’29 This means that contemporary states built on the Western ideal of the nation-state (which is not necessarily compatible with local interests) can easily be fractured by social tensions with complex origins.

Secondly, the root causes of ungoverned spaces and fragile states are disassociated with the developed world despite the West’s contribution to the persistence of elements of state weakness. For instance, the tolerance of ‘good-enough governance’ in resource-rich countries (what Duffield terms the ‘necessity of despotism’);30 the protection of misappropriated finances in offshore bank accounts; and the continued marginalization of certain ideologies and cultural practices. This selective leniency on the part of the developed world perpetuates the existence of ungoverned space by encouraging and ‘sustaining regimes that promise order and stability rather than supporting the slow and painstaking work of creating legitimate, participatory institutions of governance.’31

Ferguson adds to this, claiming that many failed states in Africa have generated high foreign capital investment. Evidently, states demonstrating poor governance, internal conflict, and widespread corruption are not avoided by foreign investors, but have proven to be strong performers in economic development.32 Largely associated with the mineral resource industry, foreign investment creates regions of concentrated capital, to the exclusion of other areas that are not rich in natural resources. The parts of Africa that are ‘unusable’ become ungoverned spaces, disconnected from the ‘national grid’ and controlled by warlords, criminal factions and other illicit actors.33 This demonstrates the role that the developed world plays in creating ungoverned space, as well as in promoting poor governance as a means for maximum capital returns.

Finally, through the administration of humanitarian aid, the developed world contributes to the fragmentation of the underdeveloped world by undermining state capacity (and sovereignty) and creating more effective parallel systems of social support. Duffield asserts that rather than enhancing state structures, NGOs have the tendency to destabilize those systems by providing assistance outside of the state. Furthermore, according to Duffield, NGOs provide an efficient alternative model for governance in areas where state governance is limited, thereby creating zones of contingent sovereignty. Ferguson refers to this as the ‘decapacitation’ of the state- the dismantling of the civil service by NGOs offering higher salaries and better working conditions.34 State services have been decentralized, rather than consolidated within a national grid, effecting the ‘intensive exploitation of separately administered enclaves’.35 By undermining state capacity, and by further fracturing fragile states, the developed world is central in creating ungoverned space, but this is rarely reflected in development policy.

The Two-Way Flow of Illicit Commodities

While it has been widely recognized that ungoverned spaces threaten global security because of their facility to produce and export illicit narcotics, the role of the West in the chain of supply and demand is frequently overlooked.36 Paradoxically, the West’s fragile state policies are concentrated towards the securitization of illicit networks in the underdeveloped world, but neglect the root cause of illicit drug production: consumption demand. The movement of illicit commodities is, as Luis Suarez Salazar observes, ‘regulated by the laws and regularities […] of capitalism’ and thus, subject to a basic economic paradigm of demand, production, and distribution.37 The political-ideological response that ‘implements repressive policies against producers’ ignores the need to alleviate the socio-economic conditions of production.38 Conditions such as the escalating demand for narcotics in the developed world, and the chronic poverty of the underdeveloped world are interlocked in a complex cycle of supply and demand. Consequently, the political economy of illicit networks is firmly embedded across both the developed and underdeveloped worlds, despite the disproportionate weight given to the negative circulatory flows stemming from the underdeveloped world.

The focus on the threat of undesirable circulation from the underdeveloped world also obscures the negative flows coming from the West. For example, the provision of weaponry by the West to areas of instability is rarely noted as a contributing factor to crime and violence in the underdeveloped world. Despite the fact that the West supplied arms to many parts of the developing world during the era of Cold War patronage, this legacy is frequently underestimated. So too is the vast number of weapons flowing from North America into troubled areas of South America often disregarded. Ironically, despite the emphasis given to the mutually constitutive relationship between security and stability, the threat of fragile states to global security is prioritized over the threat that the developed world poses to the stability of the underdeveloped world.

Ungoverned Space in the Developed World

Just as the role of the West in creating ungoverned space is overlooked, so too are pockets of ungoverned space in the developed world ignored. There are, however, many parts of the developed world that are subject to alternate authority structures, or have deviated away from centralized governmental control. These include certain districts of large urban areas; communities with limited access to external influences (such as religious communes); remote regional areas; indigenous settlements; criminal underworlds and safe havens; and the black market. According to the definition given in this paper, any of these areas qualify as ungoverned space and may foster the same, if not greater, security threats as fragile states. These spaces are comparable to the ungoverned spaces of the underdeveloped world because the threats that they cultivate have the potential to be as destructive as those of fragile states. This is evidenced by the terrorist attacks of 2005 in London, which were carried out by British citizens (three of Pakistani descent, and one Jamaican-born), who had been resident in England for most of their lives and had been educated in the British education system. In spite of their citizenship, and the extent to which they were integrated into society, their acts illuminate how the developed world harbors ungoverned space that circulates ideology that threatens Western capitalist structures.

Nevertheless, the ungoverned space of the developed world is only marginally referenced in the existing literature. This demonstrates the prevalent political-geographic approach to ungoverned space that is contingent upon ungoverned space as a definable, demarcated territory within a fragile state and moreover, is predicated upon an innate link between fragile states and ungoverned space, which does not compensate for pockets of ungoverned space in the developed world. Such an understanding disregards the fluidity and flexibility of illicit flows, and relies on the untenable notion of ‘embedded statism’ – that states contain societies as self-enclosed units that ‘coincide spatially with the state’s territory.’39 Thus, a narrow, state-centric approach is limited in how it can assess the problem of ungoverned space because it neglects virtual and transient spaces such as communication networks, transportation routes, and economic exchange that connect ungoverned space to wider social and economic networks.

Depending on how effective they are, these networks enable a high degree of functioning within ungoverned spaces, allowing criminals to operate with impunity, while exploiting social and legal conventions. Networks also bridge the developed world with the underdeveloped world, which is central in constructing ungoverned spaces as global threats. But ungoverned spaces only embody a threat to global security insofar as the networks that connect them to the global public sphere are functional. Considering the vast differences in technological accessibility and infrastructure across ungoverned spaces, the threats that they present (in terms of how connected they are to the rest of the world) can differ greatly. Therefore, it is not ungoverned spaces that are threatening per se, but rather the networks, or indeed the functionability of the networks, which bridge those spaces with the developed world, menace global security.

Ungoverned areas are complex social spaces that are shaped by internal relations between local populations, alternative authority structures and informal economies, as well as external influences that contribute to how these spaces are both constructed and perceived by the outside world. Most frequently, ungoverned spaces are understood as threats to global security because they generate undesirable agents of circulation that undermine the coherence and stability of the developed world. The correlation between ungoverned space and global threat is automatic, but the nature of these threats has not been adequately defined, considering the range of cultural, social, and political backgrounds from which they emanate. Furthermore, definitions of ungoverned space fail to account for their actual function, and distort the role of the developed world in creating and perpetuating ungoverned areas. These critical shortfalls have resulted in simplified responses to ungoverned space generally involving containment and administration, instead of addressing root causes, and recognizing “space” as a network built by various actors as well as abstract forces. If the threat of ungoverned space is to be minimized, then the networks that connect them to the global sphere need to be analyzed more fully. Similarly, the actual causes of ungoverned space, including the role that the West plays in marginalizing the underdeveloped world, need closer critical examination. 


Bigo, Didier. ‘The Möbius Ribbon of Internal and External Security (ies).’ In Identities, Borders, Orders: Rethinking International Relations Theory. Edited by Mathius Albert and David Yosef, 91-116. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001.

Brown, Timothy. ‘The Fourth Member of NAFTA: The US-Mexico Border’, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 550, (1997): 105-21.

Clunan, Anne. Ungoverned Spaces: Alternatives to State Authority in an Era of Softened Sovereignty. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010.

Duffield, Mark. Development, Security and Unending War. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007.

---. ‘Global Civil War: The Non-Insured, International Containment and Post- Interventionary Society.’ Journal of Refugee Studies 21, 2 (2008): 145-65.

Ferguson, James. ‘Seeing Like an Oil Company.’ American Anthropologist 107, 3 (2005): 377-82.

François, Monika and Inder Sud. ‘Promoting Stability and Development in Fragile and Failed States.’ Development Policy Review 24, 2 (2006): 141-60.

Gootenberg, Paul. ‘Talking About the Flow: Drugs, Borders and the Discourse of Drug Control.’ Cultural Critique 71, (2009): 13-46.

Jackson, Robert. Quasi-States: Sovereignty, International Relations and the Third World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Patrick, Stewart. ‘Failed States and Global Security: Empirical Questions and Policy Dilemmas.’ International Studies Review 9, 4 (2007): 644-62.

---. ‘Weak States and Global Threats: Fact or Fiction?’ The Washington Quarterly 29, 2 (2006): 27-53.

Salazar, Luis Suarez. ‘Drug Trafficking and Social and Political Conflicts in Latin America: Some Hypotheses.’ Latin American Perspectives 20, 1 (1993): 83- 98.

Stanislawski, Bartosz. ‘Para-States, Quasi-States, and Black Spots: Perhaps not States, but not “Ungoverned Territories” Either.’ International Studies Review 10, 2 (2008): 366-370.

Van Schendel, Willem. ‘Spaces of Engagement: How Borderlands, Illicit Flows and Territorial States Interlock.’ In Illicit Flows and Criminal Things. Edited by Willem van Schendel and Itty Abraham, 39-68. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005.

1.) Mark Duffield, Development, Security and Unending War (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007).

2.) Duffield, Development, 170.

3.) Anne Clunan, Ungoverned Spaces: Alternatives to State Authority in an Era of Softened Sovereignty (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010).

4.) Stewart Patrick, ‘Failed States and Global Security: Empirical Questions and Policy Dilemmas’, International Studies Review 9, 4 (2007): 647.

5.) Duffield, Development, 159.

6.) Stewart Patrick, ‘Weak States and Global Threats: Fact or Fiction?’ The Washington Quarterly 29, 2 (2006): 27-53.

7.) Patrick, ‘Weak States’.

8.) Clunan, Ungoverned Space, 5.

9.) Clunan, Ungoverned Space, 5.

10.) Monika François and Inder Sud, ‘Promoting Stability and Development in Fragile and Failed States’, Development Policy Review 24, 2 (2006): 141-60.

11.) James Ferguson, ‘Seeing Like an Oil Company’, American Anthropologist 107, 3 (2005): 380.

12.) Ferguson, ‘Seeing’, 380.

13.) Clunan, Ungoverned Space, 17.

14.) Bartosz Stanislawski, ‘Para-States, Quasi-States, and Black Spots: Perhaps not states, but not “ungoverned territories” either’, International Studies Review 10, 2 (2008): 366-70.

15.) Stanislawski, ‘Para-States’, 368.

16.) Paul Gootenberg, ‘Talking about the Flow: Drugs, Borders and the Discourse of Drug Control’, Cultural Critique 71, (2009): 13-46.

17.) Didier Bigo, ‘The Möbius Ribbon of Internal and External Security (ies)’, in Identities, Borders, Orders: Rethinking International Relations Theory, ed. Mathius Albert et al. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press), 91-116.

18.) Timothy Brown, ‘The Fourth Member of NAFTA: The US-Mexico Border’, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 550, (1997): 105-21.

19.) Ferguson, ‘Seeing’, 379.

20.) Clunan, Ungoverned Space.

21.) Patrick, ‘Weak States’, 28.

22.) Patrick, (2006) refers specifically to the communicable diseases of SARS and avian flu, which originated in China and caused global pandemic crises. It should also be added that Mexico was the source of swine flu, a more recent international health crisis.

23.) Patrick, ‘Failed States’.

24.) Clunan, Ungoverned Space, 4.

25.) Clunan, Ungoverned Space, 6.

26.) Mark Duffield, ‘Global Civil War: The Non-Insured, International Containment and Post-Interventionary Society’, Journal of Refugee Studies 21, 2 (2008): 158.

27.) Patrick, ‘Failed States’, 647.

28.) Robert Jackson, Quasi-States: Sovereignty, International Relations and the Third World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

29.) Jackson, Quasi-States, 5.

30.) Duffield, Development, 177.

31.) Patrick, ‘Failed States’, 648.

32.) Ferguson, ‘Seeing’.

33.) Ferguson, ‘Seeing’, 380.

34.) Ferguson, ‘Seeing’, 379.

35.) Ferguson, ‘Seeing’, 379.

36.) Gootenberg offers a useful critical discourse analysis of the literature on drugs and drug trafficking.

37.) Luis Suarez Salazar, ‘Drug Trafficking and Social and Political Conflicts in Latin America: Some Hypotheses’, Latin American Perspectives 20, 1 (1993): 85.

38.) Salazar, ‘Drug Trafficking’, 94.

39.) Willem van Schendel, ‘Spaces of Engagement: How Borderlands, Illicit Flows and Territorial States Interlock’ in Illicit Flows and Criminal Things, eds. Willem van Schendel and Itty Abraham (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005): 39.

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