Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Law (SJD)



First Advisor

Professor Dr. Sompong Sucharitkul

Second Advisor

Professor Dr. Christian N. Okeke

Third Advisor

Professor Jon H. Sylvester


The central theme of this thesis is to critique and proffer appropriate legal and military responses to the endemic problems of failed states and international terrorism within context of contemporary international law.

The work will legally define the phenomenon known as "failed states," which encompasses such states where the central government has collapsed and has ceased from providing good life to its citizens.

The dissertation will also look at the definition of Terrorism and Terrorist Organizations. A person or an organization would have engaged in terrorist activities, if they were to commit in an individual capacity or as a member of an organization, an act of terrorist activity or an act which the actor knows, or reasonably should know, affords material support to any individual, organization, or government in conducting a terrorist activity at any time.

The thesis will conclude by arguing that international responses to the dangers posed by weak and/or failed states,as well as international terrorists living in such failed states, may involve a full scale military action, such as that which occurred in Afghanistan in 2001 and in Iraq in March 2003. In addition, the thesis will argue for the introduction of newer international rules that will govern international military strikes against failed states, especially, where the United Nations Security Council has refused to act, or is incapacitated from acting, to curb the danger posed by the roguish states to global peace and security. Finally,the thesis will argue for the use and/or introduction of other less dramatic measures such as economic, social, financial, and diplomatic sanctions-such as was used to coerce the collapse of apartheid in South Africa. It shall posit the use of other positive nation-building measures, such as universal education, good governance,eradication of hunger, population stability, and other financial aid and support to the poorest nations of the world, while such nations are the hotbed of discontent that fuel the failure of states and international terrorism. The final conclusion is that when the gap between the poor and the rich nations is sufficiently bridged, there would be less failed states, and less danger to the world.

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