STATE COLLAPSE AND REGIONAL CONTAGION IN SUB-SAHARA AFRICA: LESSONS FOR ZIMBABWE

James J. Hentz

Abstract


Hollowing out the state

State collapse is one of the most important security threats in Sub-Sahara Africa. The George W. Bush administration's National Security Strategy includes failed and failing states as a national security priority. The U.S. European Command, whose area of responsibility includes much of Sub-Sahara Africa, are "concerned about ungoverned areas descending into chaos with terrorist and warlords…."2 The United Nations is trying to restore order to numerous collapsed states in Africa. Nonetheless, while there are discernable patterns to state failure and collapse, not near enough attention has been paid to them. This is a problem, of course, primarily for Sub-Sahara Africa, but increasingly, as well, for the rest of the world that has interests in that continent. This essay will point out these patterns. It will briefly describe and explain state collapse in West Africa and in Central Africa. It will then use those patterns to discuss the possibility of collapse in Zimbabwe and the potential contagion effects for the southern African subcontinent.


Keywords


State collapse; threats in Sub-Sahara Africa; George W. Bush administration's National Security Strategy; The U.S. European Command

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5787/32-1-134

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Copyright (c) 2018 James J. Hentz


ISSN 2224-0020 (online); ISSN 1022-8136 (print)

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