Issue

Fragile States

The balance of power between strong states was for decades the dominant issue in discussions of international security. But today, it is fragile states that are seen by many as posing potentially greater threats. Weak infrastructures, internal conflict, and lack of economic development provide fertile ground for trafficking, piracy, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, disease pandemics, regional tensions, and even genocide.

As a result, there is a growing movement in the international community to find comprehensive ways to promote stronger states, as well as more effective solutions to deal with those that are already on the brink of failure.

In Fragile States, you'll find reporting from around the world—from East Timor to Haiti, from Guinea Bissau to Afghanistan. The reporting demonstrates the dangers weak states pose—and also the international interventions that appear to be making a difference.

Fragile States was produced by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in partnership with The Bureau for International Reporting. Support provided by the Stanley Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Fragile States

August 29, 2018

Cambodia: Trauma, Justice, Governance

M. G. Zimeta

Cambodia's post-genocide journey creates new opportunities and risks in national systems such as health, justice, and tech governance. It also reveals remarkable stories of human courage over time.

June 16, 2018

Justice for the Enemy

Simona Foltyn

The war against ISIS in Iraq is officially over. Now the government faces another momentous task: It must bring those responsible to account.

March 22, 2018

Mugabe's Last Days—And What Comes Next

Joshua Hammer

Robert Mugabe's downfall after 37 years in power left beleaguered Zimbabweans euphoric, but the rise of Emmanuel Mnangagwa, aka The Crocodile, suggests that the rejoicing might be premature.

January 16, 2018

The Center Cannot Hold

Jack Losh

Five years since war erupted, life in the Central African Republic is again spiralling out of control, with families caught in a deepening humanitarian crisis. How do you survive when your country is collapsing?

December 20, 2017

Trauma Among Syrian Refugees

Sawsan Morrar

While Syrians find refuge and aid in Jordan, little has been done to address the mental trauma they have faced—until now.

At the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal—"Asia's Nuremberg"—was created in 1997 to bring accountability for the Khmer Rouge era atrocities. 20 years and $320 million later, it has secured only three convictions.

Meet the Journalist: Tom Gardner

Tom Gardner discusses his reporting as he follows the railway from Addis Ababa to the Djibouti coast examining efforts of the Ethiopian government to use grand infrastructure to develop a poor region.

Meet the Journalists: Phil Caller and Tania Rashid

Phil Caller and Tania Rashid discuss their three-part series for PBS NewsHour on the Rohingya refugee crisis—reporting on the mass exodus, rape, child marriage, and human trafficking—and finding a strong will to live and tenacity among the people.