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 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.

April 10, 2017

Nigeria's Unfolding Crisis

Leslie Roberts

Terrorized by Boko Haram for years, millions of people in northeastern Nigeria have fled to crowded camps and cities and are suffering from a deadly combination of severe malnutrition and infection.

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?

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.

Meet The Journalist: Umar Farooq

Collective punishment is often reported on, but Pakistan's tribal areas are one of the few places where it is written into the law itself. What is life like for people on the ground?

Meet the Journalist: Peter Gwin

How does a country fail? Peter Gwin spent three years traveling to the Central African Republic to look at how a rebellion destroyed the nation and what's happened to its wealth of resources.

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.