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 23, 2016

Reviving a Chicken Economy

Jamie McGee, Larry McCormack

Economic development strategies that focus on job creation over direct aid gain traction in rural Haiti, offering insights on how to overcome longstanding challenges in addressing poverty.

May 17, 2016

An African Spring in Uganda?

Helen Epstein

In February 2016, Uganda strongman Yoweri Museveni won another election which opposition groups and international observers say was not free and fair.

March 10, 2016

Law and Order in Afghanistan

May Jeong

Pro-government militias are being lauded as a bulwark against rising insurgency, even while some stand accused of extrajudicial killings and running remote districts as fiefdoms.

March 10, 2016

Niger: Baho's Last Fight

Jillian Keenan

Poverty and unemployment have driven some youth in southern Niger to form violent gangs known as palais—attractive recruitment targets for Boko Haram. But one man is fighting back.

March 03, 2016

The Last Days of Joseph Kony

David Gauvey Herbert

The Lord's Resistance Army is in remission. Ugandan forces will soon be heading home. But a radio network tracking the rebel group's movements indicates Joseph Kony is mounting a comeback.

January 15, 2016

PTSD Nation

Jason Motlagh

Fifteen years after the U.S. invasion, Afghanistan is in the grip of a mental health crisis that fuels an endless cycle of conflict. There are scant resources available to heal the collective trauma.

The Waterkeeper of Iraq

Water scarcity is becoming an increasingly pressing issue in the country's north, but one man is hoping to change that.

What Now for the Girls of War-Torn Syria?

In a bombed-out husk of a building on the outskirts of Tabqa, Gayle Lemmon met a family trying to wait out the hell of life under ISIS in Raqqa and the war for its liberation.