A current trend in International Relations (IR) suggests that challenges to the international system are of a post-Westphalia character. These new challenges are caused by the gradual decline of the state as the only authoritative player on the international relations and security chessboard. A shift in focus is evident since the classic domain of state prevalence - security - is now likely to fall into the hands of new actors.

As a result, several states and regions dotting the international community are defined by, de-facto, cases of weak and failing polities owing to eroding institutions of governance. Examples of failed states demonstrate that the failure of the State, as a key player in contemporary IR, to fulfil its duties in political processes, in most cases, leads to humanitarian crises. Thus, in order to prevent related tragedies, there is a pressing need to scrutinize the links between state failure and security, if we are to assume that it is the State which is vested with the responsibility to safeguard its citizens.

Moreover, the examination of the prism that distorts state rule is necessary to account for the new possible global threats that state failure/collapse may bring. This can demonstrate how poor governance - on a local level - and, eventually, state failure are transferred to a higher level of threat hierarchy. For the purpose of exploring this issue it is important to address the question: how state failure influences security in a post-Westphalian international environment?

A preliminary hypothesis is that the modern security confi guration in an underdeveloped region poses challenges to governance. In its turn, poor governance tends to generate sustained internal conflict(s) within the states of the region. This provokes a spiral of internal violence, which may be viewed as a threat to the existence of sustained states in diverse and changing security environments and could, through the process of contagion, spread to other regions.

In this regard, an important issue raised in this research is based on providing a correlation between governance inefficacy and the low sustainability of state(s), from which practical implications to the assessment of the states' capacities in the post-Westphalia era may be derived. The analyzed case of Somalia reflects a growing need for realist assessments to adequately view patterns of governance in underdeveloped countries in underdeveloped regions.