Hollow State and The Tyranny of the Local

What happens in a situation where the state is hollow and/or corrupt and local rules prevail? One possibility is this (via):

The discussion in the NYT article is interesting as Pakistani columnists debate the question of whether this act is actually nothing out of the ordinary in this culture, whether Westerners should not judge another culture or impose their moral standards, or whether this is a horrific act but the exception more than the rule.

What they all seem to agree on though is the hollowing of the state, incapable of imposing the rule of law, as illustrated by the passive presence of police officers at the lynching. This hollow state leaves the door wide open to local punishment, with horrible results.

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