Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Government and International Affairs

Major Professor

Earl Conteh-Morgan


Africa, DRC, Economy, External Groups, State Institutions


The issue of state failure within the international system has been a perplexing phenomenon in our increasingly mobile and modern society. The question of why some states succeed in developing into strong states within the international environment and why some fail is a question often overlooked. The focus of this thesis will be on three key factors that contribute towards state failure. The research will show how these three key factors: outdated state infrastructure, lack of economic development, and external intervention contribute to the occurrence of this phenomenon. Analyzing these key factors will highlight how state failure occurs within a case study. The chosen state for the focus of this thesis will be the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). By focusing on this case I plan to cross-reference factors that have been commonly used to gauge state failure. This will show that external factors, as well as internal factors can cause detrimental obstacles in state development. The unit of examination of these three factors will be focused on the DRC. My research will show that the three key factors are the reason why the DRC became a failed state and that due to external events the DRC was able to maintain an image of a stable environment, while the citizens of the country suffered. As a result of the rising influence of globalization and the push for development in the international system state failure has become a preoccupation for scholars.