The Tragedy of Failure
Evaluating State Failure and Its Impact on the Spread of Refugees, Terrorism, and War
by Tiffiany O. Howard
April 2010, 156pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38120-1
$70, £54, 61€, A96
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38121-8
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The humanitarian implications of state collapse are pervasive and enduring—its onset represents the catalyst for refugee crises and the spread of war, poverty, disease, and terrorism. What, if anything, can be done to forestall or mitigate such failures and the security threats that too often accompany them?

This intriguing approach to international conflict seeks to facilitate a dialogue between academics and policymakers on how to better anticipate and prevent state failure, subsequent forced migration, and the terrorist threat that often results.

Despite the far reaching implications of state failure, little research has been devoted to its consequences. Postulating that failed and failing states enable the existence of terrorist organizations, The Tragedy of Failure: Evaluating State Failure and Its Impact on the Spread of Refugees, Terrorism, and War bridges that gap.

Both descriptive and prescriptive, the book offers a nuanced examination of the relationship between forced migration, state failure, and terrorism. The author suggests policy strategies that are capable of anticipating the onset of forced migration situations before they develop into crises and presents quantitative forecasting models with the ability to predict the occurrence of state failure and forced migration as much as two years in advance. Buoyed by this work and the tools it offers, policymakers can focus more closely on the issue of failed states and the movement of refugees and internally displaced persons in the interest of targeting and eliminating dangerous terrorist organizations.


  • Includes case studies of failed and failing states, including Somalia, Pakistan, Colombia, Haiti, and Sudan
  • Provides maps of Sudan, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, and Somali showing the terrorist cells present in these states
  • A broad-based bibliography of sources from international conflict studies, refugee and migration, and terrorism studies
Tiffiany O. Howard, PhD, is assistant professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV. Dr. Howard has published several scholarly articles on international conflict.

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