State failure is characterized by government predation and the militarization of civic society. Drawing on data from the study of civil war, state failure, and violence, this article explores the roles of per capita income, ethnicity, and democratization. It argues that public revenues are more relevant to state failure than are private incomes; that several configurations of ethnic groups can lead to violence; and that state failure is far more likely in intermediate democracies than in full democracies or aristocracies.

Keyword(s): civil wardemocracyethnicity

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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