How do states, as actors, seek to maintain internal control and stability when facing threats to their territorial integrity? Examining four post-Soviet countries (Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine), the panelists assess two new functional areas of state capacity analysis, elections (regenerative) and healthcare (distributional) in addressing this question. They expand traditional approaches to state capacity through the exploration of sub-national and cross-national comparisons. Their approach contributes to important insight on the geopolitical implications of how shortfalls in state capacity might lead to “weak” or “failed” states through the examination of four countries bordering an increasingly aggressive Russian Federation. Georgia and Ukraine have already been engaged in armed hostilities with the Russian Federation which has forced them to cede territory to Russia or to breakaway quasi-states aligned with Russia. Estonia and Kazakhstan are subject to growing Russian geopolitical and economic pressure focused on border territories. This interdisciplinary roundtable explores empirical approaches to the assessment of internal diversity in state capacity, illustrating how variation in internal capacity is linked to the vulnerability to destabilization, separatist movements or incursions by adversarial neighbors across these four cases. They explore how assessments of distributional and regenerative processes within and between states can contribute to literatures in the areas of governance, conflict, legitimacy and state stability, deepening our conceptualization of state capacity in this region and elsewhere.