= must be differentiated from failed states
John Robb explains:
"A considerable number of analysts contend that Mexico and other countries suffering assaults by open source insurgencies/crime aren't in danger of becoming failed states. They are right given the limitations of their modeling. A failed state is a complete breakdown in the delivery of political goods (security, law, health, education, infrastructure, etc.), the dissolution of most arms of the government (often what's left is in absentia), and widespread chaos. Think Somalia.
In contrast, these states are well on the road to becoming hollow states. A hollow state is different from a failed state in that it continues to exist on the international stage. It has all the standard edifices of governance although most are heavily corrupted and in thrall to global corporate/monied elites. It continues to deliver political goods (albeit to a vastly diminished group, usually around the capital) and maintains a military. Further, in sections of the country, there is an appearance of normal life. However, despite this facade, the hollow state has abdicated (either explicitly as in Lebanon's case or de facto as in Mexico's) vast sections of its territory to networked tribes (global guerrillas)." (http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2009/03/hollow-states-vs-failed-states.html)
"The hollow state has the trappings of a modern nation-state ("leaders", membership in international organizations, regulations, laws, and a bureaucracy) but it lacks any of the legitimacy, services, and control of its historical counter-part. It is merely a shell of a state that serves as a legal conduit and enforcement mechanisms for global financial interests to loot what's left of the state's economy. Corruption and violence are its only traits. " (http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2011/11/the-us-is-hollowing-out-quickly.html)