«Partial or total collapses in state authority, once rare, are no longer outliers in an otherwise stable international state system. A growing number of formally defined ‘states’ – that is, places with official borders and internationally recognized governments – now exist in reality only as lines on maps and concepts in policy papers and newspaper reports. The governments in these places lack the ability to perform the most basic of state functions or are able to do so only in enclaves of state control. For the most part, governance vacuums on the ground are filled by unofficial groups that perform state-like functions […]».
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