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

The Toll of Small Arms Op-Chart

Despite the presence of the world's largest peacekeeping mission, the Democratic Republic of Congo remains in the grip of civil war. The reason is clear. A flood of small arms and light weapons undermines the 17,000 United Nations troops' mandate to protect civilians.

Bukavu

Bukavu in a city located east of the DRC and the capital of the South Kivu province.

Daily Life

A series of photographs capturing the influence of cellular phones on the daily lives of people in DRC.

Mining in the DRC

Mining is becoming a growing industry in DRC where many farmers are switching jobs to join the destructive industry.

Coltan Processing

Coltan mining continues to grow in the DRC. Coltan is commonly used in mobile phones, and the DRC counts for one of the world's largest coltan reserves.

Victims of War

Women and children have been raped systematically by the armed forces in the conflict. Also, about 1200 people die daily because of non-direct fighting, according to some NGOs.