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

September 26, 2017

'Treasonous' Young Kurds and a Referendum

Kenneth R. Rosen

Iraqi Kurdistan wants to split from Iraq's central government. But a group of young Kurds have joined controversial Baghdad-backed militias of Iraq. They provide a unique window on where the country may be heading.

September 05, 2017

C.A.R. Crisis: When the State Is Absent

Cassandra Vinograd

As the Central African Republic slips back into chaos, the government is mostly powerless to intervene. Armed groups hold the power. Here's what happens—and who steps in—when state authority is absent.

August 17, 2017

Syria: The Next Chapter

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

The Syrian war: We see the headlines, but know far less about the people caught in the conflict's crosshairs. What comes next for them, and how will that impact the future of the country and the wider Middle East?

July 24, 2017

Mainstreaming Pakistan's Tribal Areas

Umar Farooq

Even as they grapple with US drones, the Pakistani military, and al-Qaeda and Taliban jihadis, the seven million residents of FATA are struggling to bring the rule of law to their land.

May 02, 2017

South Sudan in Crisis

Jane Ferguson

South Sudan is the world’s newest nation but ethnic violence, economic collapse and famine are spiralling. Millions of lives, and the future of the country, are at stake.

The Karachi Circular Railway

Ivan Sigal’s multi-channel installation KCR explores the Karachi Circular Railway, a now-defunct commuter train that once connected the disparate neighborhoods of Pakistan’s largest metropolis.

Meet the Journalist: Jackie Spinner

Jackie Spinner spent three months in Morocco exploring the ways in which the country has become a moderate Islamic hub in the North Africa and to examine the contrast between image and reality.

Meet the Journalist: Wes Bruer

A freelance journalist based in Brooklyn, Wes Bruer received a Pulitzer Center grant to pursue a story of a unique counterterrorism program being implemented by the U.S. State Dept in Mumbai, India.

Meet the Journalist: Yepoka Yeebo

For over a decade, there existed a fake U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana. When the news broke, there were more questions than answers and some officials are convinced it didn't happen.

This Week: Where Domestic Abuse Is Tolerated

This week: a harrowing look into Russian domestic violence, a special investigation into how Jewish Federations spend their money, and how Qatar is jailing new mothers and their babies.

This Week: Friends With Dictators

This week: The U.S.'s troublesome alliances with African dictators, Pulitzer tackles homophobia through NewsArts, and the true meaning of the Iraqi Kurdish referendum.