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

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.

January 12, 2016

Tracking Boko Haram: On the Trail of Terror

Jason Motlagh

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.

January 11, 2016

The Move on Mosul

Luke Mogelson, Moises Saman

This year, a force comprised of Iraqi soldiers, Iranian-backed militias, Kurdish peshmerga, and Sunni police will attempt to retake Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, from the Islamic State, or ISIS.

Warlords and Horsemen

In buzkashi, Afghanistan’s violent and ancient national pastime, riders battle for control of an animal corpse. It's still the best metaphor for the restive country's politics.

The Untold Quiet of Kurdistan

What the Vietnamese photographer Lam Duc-Hein first imagined of Iraq were tanks and violence, surges and refugees. But in Iraqi Kurdistan he found something different and beautiful.