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

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?

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

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.

October 05, 2016

Iraq: The Battle for Mosul

Jane Ferguson

At a critical time in Iraq’s history, Jane Ferguson examines the military forces involved in the battle for Mosul, the role of Iran-based militias and the status of Fallujah post-ISIS.

Zimbabwe: Enter the Crocodile

How did Robert Mugabe's rule end? With a mysterious poisoning, a clandestine flight across the border, a standoff at the airport, and a furious shootout in a Harare suburb. Here's the whole story.

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.

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?

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.