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Failed state discourse as an instrument of the US foreign policy in the post cold war era

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2005
Gülseven, Yahya
This thesis focuses on the use of the term ءfailed state̕ as a category in the US foreign policy discourse in the post Cold War era. The concept of ءfailed state̕ is critically examined in terms of its methodological and ontological flaws. It is suggested that the primary methodological flaw of the failed state discourse is its atomistic and essentialist approach which describes ءstate failure̕ as an internal problem which needs external solutions. By rejecting the internal/external dichotomy, the dialectical method is offered as an alternative to examine the use of the term in the US foreign policy discourse in the post Cold War era. It is argued here that failed state discourse is used as a means in the justification of an international order based on ءpreemptive strikes̕ and unilateral economic, political and military interventions. Building upon this ideological function of failed state discourse, the current discusssions on state failure is related to contemporary debates on imperialism.