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

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.

An African Spring in Uganda?

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

Law and Order in Afghanistan

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.

Niger: Baho's Last Fight

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.

The Last Days of Joseph Kony

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.

PTSD Nation

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.

Tracking Boko Haram: On the Trail of Terror

Jason Motlagh reports on the battle against Boko Haram guerrillas, the aftermath of their reign and the underlying social and economic factors that fueled their rise.

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.