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Faculty member publishes book on South Africa and state fragility

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Dr. Edward Mienie's new book, "Security, Governance, and State Fragility in South Africa," examines whether or not South Africa is being accurately portrayed as a stable state.

Dr. Edward L. Mienie, executive director of the strategic studies program and partnerships and associate professor of strategic and security studies, is publishing a book that focuses on a topic important to his identity.

"Being a native South African, and having represented South Africa as a diplomat under the previous apartheid government and the new democratic government, I would really like to see the country succeed given its existing political, economic, social, and security challenges on numerous fronts," he said.

In his book, "Security, Governance, and State Fragility in South Africa," he studies measures of state fragility to determine whether or not South Africa is being accurately portrayed as a stable state.

"This study utilized a mixed-methods approach based on quantitative secondary data analysis and semi-structured interviews with government officials, security practitioners, and leading experts in the field," he said. "I found that the combination of colonization, apartheid, the liberation struggle, the transition from autocracy to democracy, high levels of direct and structural violence, and stagnating social, political, and economic developments make South Africa a latently fragile state."

Mienie hopes the book, published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, serves as an educational piece for students while enlightening policy professionals and government officials.

"Practically, this study offers a number of concrete policy recommendations for how South Africa may address mounting levels of latent state fragility," he said.

Mienie noted the book received positive reviews from the former head of South Africa's National Intelligence; a retired judge on the High Court of South Africa; the provost of Plymouth State University; and the founder and chairman of Executive Outcomes, who also chairs Specialised Tasks, Training, Equipment and Protection (STTEP) International.

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