Journalists, unlike political scientists, can call any country a failure to attract the attention of readers. In fact, in the academic world, there are coherent definitions of what can be considered a failed state. In short, this means that the deteriorating quality of the economic and political system has left the government powerless to control public affairs (Gökce 11). South Sudan definitely may be called a failed state, even knowing the fact that it is one of the newest nations. The reason is that the country is in the process of civil war and anarchy, where the legitimate government has no feasible opportunities to impose control over the nation (Karimi). Thus, the article’s author was absolutely right when he designated South Sudan as a failed state.
However, two other cases consider controversial examples which political science will not describe in such a way. The author of the text in the Washington Post calls Venezuela a failing state (O’Brien). It seems that he misleads the notions of ‘closed authoritarian state’ and ‘failed state’. The president of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro imposed strict control under public affairs in the country and acquired control over oil reserves in the country. Thus, the country cannot be called existing in chaos of anarchical battles. Another example is the text about Timor-Leste in the Economist. In this country, the entrenched ruler experiences health issues, so the problem of further succession stands in front of a corrupted parliament (Banyan). This country also cannot be called failed because at the point of writing this article Timor-Leste had still stable political and economic affairs. If the transit of power fails and war breaks out, then this will be another conversation for the academic world.
Banyan. “Passing the Torch.” The Economist, Web.
Gökce, Gülise. “Phenomenon of Failed State and Refugee/Immigration Problem: Analysis on Syria Example.” Inquiry, vol. 3, no. 1, 2018, pp. 9-18.
Karimi, Faith. “South Sudan Named Most Fragile Country; U.S. on List of Worsening Nations.” CNN, Web.
O’Brien, Matt. “Venezuela Should Be Rich. Instead It’s becoming a Failed State..” The Washington Post, Web.