A controversial thesis underlies this theoretical book: much of the Third World consists of "quasi-states" that exist because of their formal acceptance by the international community rather than their post-colonial attributes. These countries, it is asserted, are unable to protect human rights or provide social benefits and economic welfare. Thus they have "negative" rather than "positive" sovereignty. There is too much pessimism here and the whole concept of the "Third World" now needs reexamination (where is the "Second World" today?).