John Robb of the the GlobalGuerillas website (link at right) has a very particular slant on the decline of modern nation-states. One of his terms is 'Hollowing Out'. It involves a situation where the governments sphere of control within the country declines, and the areas of the country have their service s actually provided by trans-national corporations and transnational criminal enterprises.
Mexico is a prime example of 'Hollowing Out'. The link below to a Washington Post article shows how the Cartels are more and more able to create their own infrastructure backed by drug money, and enforced by former military personnel that have turned to crime, such as the Zetas.
All the while our own government, BOTH parties, dither about securing the southwestern border states.