State Transition from Rigidity to Fragility and Failure: the Case of Middle East and North Africa

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Public Policy & Administration Department

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Hamid Eltgani Ali

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Research Article

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International Journal of Public Administration

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The taxonomy of the state’s effective governance capacity present in the literature is evolving around state fragility. However, this article argues that a state moves along the state transition curve, resulting in governance capacity variations over time. It begins as a fragile state, consolidating to becoming a vibrant state, only to embark, eventually, on a downward trajectory through phases of rigidity, decaying, and fragility, before becoming a failed state. About one-third of MENA (Middle East and North Africa) countries are either fragile or failed states. Only technological change and knowledge accumulation and diffusion can shift this curve upward, thereby increasing a state’s effective governance capacity.

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