Book Discussion: A Principled Approach to State Failure by Chiara Giorgetti

by Chris Borgen

We are very pleased to host from today through Friday an online symposium considering Chiara Giorgetti‘s book A Principled Approach to State Failure: International Community Actions in Emergency Situations (Brill 2010).

Dr. Giorgetti, an attorney at White and Case and an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law Center, will be with us for the rest of the week, discussing various of themes from her book. Moreover, we will also be joined by Gian Luca Burci, the Legal Counsel of the World Health Organization; Greg Fox of Wayne State University Law School; and Guglielmo Verdirame of the University of Cambridge and the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. We are honored to have such a distinguished group of guest bloggers.

The terms “failed state” and “fragile state” are thrown around all too often in international legal and political commentary (and sometimes in OLC memoranda…) with just a general sense that “we’ll know one when we see one.” Chiara’s study attempts to unpack what these terms actually mean and assess the efficacy of the international legal tools and techniques we use to address failing or failed states. Weaving together analyses drawing from multilateral responses to health, environmental, and human rights emergencies, as well as examples of foreign military interventions into failed states, this book not only attempts to describe in detail what it means for a state to falter and collapse but also considers the role (if any) that international law and institutions may play regarding the problem of failing states. It is a wide-ranging and timely book that has already sparked debate.

We at Opinio Juris look forward to the discussion and encourage our readers to get involved by posting comments and queries of their own.

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