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The western Powers are more and more concerned about the weakness of states, seeing the weakness as a threat. Well before, the Powers were afraid of the increasingly strengthening of other states and seeing this strengthening as a threat to their security. However, like the time and unlike the seasons, mentalities change. Democracy and liberalism have become the norms that must be followed by all the states. The war or the threat against peace is not sprung anymore from the power of the States but from their weakness(6).

Weak states are threatened by the phenomenon of failure which can lead to the phenomenon of state building. Nevertheless, understand the state building process requires first to understand state failure and its causes. How can we conclude the failure of a state? What are the causes and consequences of this failure? The analysis of Robert I. Rotberg, the Fund for Peace, Edward Newman and David Carment enable to draw up a theoretical framework on failure, its indicators and causes. Is there any possibility to avoid that a state fails? The Fund for Peace, an educational and research organization whose mission is to develop practical strategies and constructive tools for meeting security challenges stemming from weak and failing states(7), provides a analytical framework consisted of five stages which describe the evolution of failing states and the possibility of a conflict. It also gives the critical decision point by which the international community should intervene in order to avoid the complete failure and the spread of a possible conflict.

Because of their inabilities to govern and to provide the necessary political goods, failed states have to deal with a rebuilding process. The works of Richard Caplan, James Dobbins, Derick W. Brinkerhoff and Jake Sherman provide a well-described analysis about the state building process and what the main tasks of such a process are. David Chadler’s analysis on the responsibility to protect gives the main criterion towards the road of a successful building process: the capacity to protect which will enable to deliver the other political goods. Nevertheless, the process is not so easy and a relevant question may be raised: can a non complete strategy of state building lead to another failure and conflict? Therefore, the theoretical analysis will focus on the major challenges that are the security and the economy of a state, necessary to ensure a successful rebuilding process.

The breakup of Yugoslavia has created the willingness of many territories to be independent and internationally recognized. However, it also created a range of conflicts which spread in the Balkans. Every state that composed the former Yugoslavia knew the phenomenon of failure and the intervention of the international community. Both Kosovo and Macedonia faced up to the phenomenon of state failure because of ethnic tensions and a rise in nationalism. The first case study will focus on the situation of Kosovo during 1998 and 1999. Secondly, the case study on Macedonia will deal with the 2001 conflict between the Albanians minorities and the Slaves. In both cases, the criteria of failure, described in the theoretical framework, will be tested in order to conclude or not their failure. It will be relevant to observe that the situation of failure in a territory can create negative transnational effects which can lead to the future case of failure of another territory.

Then, the international intervention and the rebuilding process will be analyzed in the two cases, Kosovo and Macedonia, and the main state building key tasks will be also applied. It will allow to conclude of the possible success of the international community in the rebuilding process in Kosovo and Macedonia and to answer the following question: Does state building always lead to success and the end of failure?

6 Caplan Richard et Pouligny Beatrice, Histoire et contradictions du state building, critique international, 2005/3 no 28, P.123-138.
7 The Fund for Peace, Dr. Pauline H. Baker, The Conflict Assessment System Tool (CAST), 2006,

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