Robert Cooper has been involved as EU diplomat in the mediation of several geopolitical conflicts. For years, he was Tony Blair’s chief advisor on foreign policy; he was also the UK’s Special Representative in Afghanistan. Between 2002 and 2007, Cooper was Director-General for External and Politico-Military Affairs at the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU. He was then involved with the foundation of the European External Action Service, the EU’s diplomatic service. He served until recently as Special Advisor to Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. His concept of ‘failed states’, as described in The Post-Modern State (2002) and The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the Twenty-First Century (2003), has turned out to be of great political influence.