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Moore, Mick (2011) Globalisation and Power in Weak States. Third World Quarterly Vol. 32, No. 10: 1757-1776.

Both academic literature and popular ideas focus on the ways in which globalisation might be leading to convergence in the ways in which societies are governed. This is misleading. There are marked differentiation processes. Patterns of governance are diverging. These divergences are concentrated in smaller, poorer countries outside the ranks of the OECD and BRIC/emerging economies category. This article focuses on the ways in which these divergences are driven by changes in sources of government and elite revenues (‘political revenues’). As a result of late 20th century globalisation, fewer governments are funded by broad general taxation, and elites in poor countries face increased incentives to use their power for personal profit rather than the collective good. The emergence of ‘failing’ or ‘weak’ states is not an isolated or random phenomenon, but an aspect of a broader shift in the character of public authority. That understanding has direct implications for the policies employed to combat the problem.

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