University of Illinois at Chicago
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Manufacturing Leviathan: International Order, States, and Failed States

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posted on 2014-02-24, 00:00 authored by John Van Benthuysen
This research focuses on the economic, political, and social relationships and interactions that constitute the contemporary international order and their effect on nation-state viability. The first four chapters outline the history and theory behind state development and international order from Seventeenth Century Europe to modern times. The argument advanced in these chapters is that Westphalian sovereignty along with economic and political liberalism eventually transformed themselves from novel policy innovations undertaken by a minority of European states into a normative and institutional incentive structure applicable to all. This is problematic for younger states because it fosters the expectation that developmental convergence via elections and open markets will be relatively quick and painless, certainly not the centuries long and often violent process that took place in Europe. The final chapters outline the contemporary failed state debate and identify its emphasis on the domestic arena of states as limiting and problematic. Chapters six, seven, and eight develop an international model of nation-state failure and implement an empirical analysis of nation-states from 1970 to 2002. The findings indicate that diplomatic relationships with major powers, ideological alignment with major powers, and economic and social interdependence bolsters the viability of most states. These international variables out perform domestic variables, like state legitimacy and capacity, in terms of significance, effect-size, and consistency across models. What is more, the empirical results raise serious doubts about the efficacy and appropriateness of democratic and free market reforms, in their current formulation, for state development and stability, particularly for younger less developed states.



McFarland, Andrew


Political Science

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Committee Member

McIntyre, Michael Moruzzi, Norma Tepe, Sultan Valeriano, Brandon

Submitted date



  • en

Issue date


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