The Tragedy of Failure

Title:                      The Tragedy of Failure

Author:                 Tiffany O. Howard

Howard, Tiffiany (2010).The Tragedy of Failure: Evaluating State Failure and Its Impact on the Spread of Refugees, Terrorism, and War. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Security International

LCCN:    2010000811

JC328.7 .H68 2010


Date Posted:      March 29, 2016

Reviewed by Joshua Sinai, Ph. D.[1]

One of the central concerns in intelligence is assessing the likelihood of state failure in foreign countries and its consequences. These issues are authoritatively covered in this volume, which examines the consequences of state failure in terms of forced migration in the form of internal displacement and refugees into neighboring states, outbreak of terrorist insurgencies, and initiation of inter-state war. Of par-ticular interest is the author’s quantitative forecasting model, called “the severity stage model,” to predict the likelihood of state failure, which is intended to enable intelligence analysts and policy decision makers to respond in a preemptive manner to prevent such forces of instability to overwhelm a country that might be headed in such a trajectory.

[1] Sinai, Joshua in The Intelligencer: Journal of U. S. Intelligence Studies (20, 2, Fall/Winter, 2013, p. 121). These reviews present books which examine national security issues that need to be considered in terrorism and counterterrorism analysis. Joshua Sinai is a Washington, DC-based consultant on counterterrorism studies. He can be reached at: Joshua.sinai@

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