Defining Criminal-states

Document Type



Politics and Economics (CGU)

Publication Date



Defense and Security Studies | Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Governmental views on belligerent and near-belligerent states are discussed along with evolving US terms for these dangerous states. The post 9/11 security environment requires the recognition of a new form of dangerous state — the ‘Criminal-state’ a by-product of belligerent non-state entities and their networks at war with the nation-state form. Four criminal-state forms originating from Jihadi insurgency, state failure-lawless zones, external criminal takeover, and oligarchic regimes are then highlighted. Until the new security environment is openly recognized as merging with global criminality, and the fact that it contains highly adaptive ‘small, fast, and ruthless’ challengers to the nation-state form accepted, our ability to fully define the new threat of ‘Criminal-states’, highlighted in this essay, will be impeded.

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© 2006 Taylor and Francis

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