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

February 22, 2017

The East African Migrant Smuggling Trail

Michael Scott Moore

Smugglers along the trail from East Africa to Europe, through Libya, tend to look after their own. Are former Somali pirates running Somali migrants?

February 10, 2017

Egypt's Deadly Infrastructure

Jahd Khalil

Egypt’s infrastructure has real life costs for its citizens, and requires targeted and accountable investment. Can the government make the right ones?

January 23, 2017

On Rebuilding the Middle East

Jon Sawyer

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley will tour high schools and universities with the Pulitzer Center's Executive Director Jon Sawyer starting in February 2017.

January 19, 2017

Duterte and the Philippines

James Fenton

A new president is elected in the Philippines on a promise that he will crack down on drugs, dealers and users. Thousands of poor people have already been killed.

January 19, 2017

Afghan Peace Talks

May Jeong

The task of making peace in Afghanistan seem to have fallen on the shoulders of unlikely men. This is the story of their efforts to end the war in Afghanistan.

February 09, 2017|

Navigating Cairo's Ferries

Egypt's Nile transport has some safety concerns, but if utilized properly it could mean a whole lot more lives (and money) are saved.

February 20, 2017|

Meet the Journalist: James Fenton

James Fenton discusses reporting on President Duterte's violent war on drugs in the Philippines. The number of casualties in a 7-month period reached 7,000 following the president's election.

December 26, 2016|

Meet the Journalist: Emily Gogolak

Emily Gogolak, from the field in Tegucigalpa, discusses her reporting on violence against women in Honduras and the deportations of mothers and children from immigration detention centers in Texas.