Evan M. Mayo

Date of Defense

Spring 4-26-2011


Political Science

First Advisor

Jim Butterfield, Political Science

Second Advisor

Gunther Hega, Political Science

Third Advisor

Thomas Kostrzewa, Haenicke Institute for Global Education


The primary mode of political organization in the modern era is the State. The state is the entity ruling over a "territorially bound society" making rules and enforcing its law. A weak state does not possess an uninterrupted monopoly on the legitimate use of violence throughout its territory. A weak state's law is deficient in authenticity or legitimacy and laws are reasonably challenged. Many countries claim sovereignty but cannot, or do not, fulfill the necessary obligations in order to behave as a proper functioning state. The question arises: If the state has been deemed a weak state, what necessary measures must be undertaken for these weak states to better function? This is the question the paper expects to satisfy. Essential to state-building is the capacity of the state, state-society relations, good governance, economic reform, and international aid. These factors are intimately connected and, in a properly functioning model, can demonstrate cyclical effects to one another.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only