Terrorism : And its connection to failed states

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Statsvetenskap

Abstract: Through the increase in globalization over the last twenty years the world has become ’smaller’. The many positive aspects of the phenomenon sometimes make us overlook the negative aspects of globalization. Just as economic markets and communication has moved beyond national borders one of the most negative aspects of society has also become global, namely terrorism. As terrorism has moved on to the global spectrum so has the prevention of terrorism. National governments that are trying to combat terrorism have begun to realize that problems that other nations are facing in another continent could eventually affect their national security. Other nation states that are experiencing state failure may become a national security risk. The aim of this thesis is to examine if global terrorist organizations take advantage of the many problems that a nation faces when it is subject to state failure. It has not been to examine the phenomenon of global terrorism itself or why certain nation states fail. It has rather been to see if there is a connection between the two and if so, how do global terrorist organizations take advantage of these opportunities? The most famous, or infamous, global terrorist organization al Qaeda has on many occasions used the fact that a state is experiencing failure to their advantage. Many of the more common problems that a failed state will face (loss of territorial control, disastrous domestic economy, and bad leadership) have been exploited by al Qaeda who have been able to build an effective infrastructure, build training cams and religious schools, and gain public support in two of the most troubled nations in the world; Afghanistan and Sudan. The conclusion that can be drawn from this examination of the connection between global terrorism and failed states is that terrorist organizations have on several occasions taken advantage of the problems associated with state failure in order to become stronger and build a working infrastructure. It is, however, important to note that terrorism is very rarely the reason fore state failure. Furthermore, the fact that a sate is experiencing state failure does not automatically mean that it will be a breathing ground for global terrorism.

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