This study will focus on the challenges that international law must face to identify and rebuild states that are considered as failed. How can failed states be restored to the status of successful ones, which is a misguided approach when it is known that they never had success? For international law, indicators should be available to identify failures and to identify states threatened by them. The UN has acquired a certain experience in this matter but lacks proper means for dealing with such challenges. It was able to define integrated strategies of nation- building and state-building, with the help of regional organizations, specialized institutions, NGOs, and the states concerned.
This essay raises the question of the position of international law regarding the existence of this concept. It adopts an analysis that assesses the legal implications of failed states, for the state itself and for the international community as well. As a result, the concept of failed states is not accepted by all scholars in international law. For some authors it is inappropriate, harmful; it is damaging for the image of the state as a member of international community which is composed of a territory, population, and a political authority and enjoys sovereignty. To avoid legal implications, some scholars argue that it is better to use other terms, such as ‘fragile state’, ‘state in crisis’ and ‘failed government’ to designate this highly important subject in international law.