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 Karachi Circular Railway

Ivan Sigal’s multi-channel installation KCR explores the Karachi Circular Railway, a now-defunct commuter train that once connected the disparate neighborhoods of Pakistan’s largest metropolis.

The Move on Mosul

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.

The Yazidis: After the Trauma

ISIS fighters executed and enslaved thousands of ethnic Yazidis in northern Iraq in the summer of 2014 in what the UN calls a likely genocide. A year later, a look at the community trying to heal.

Somalia: Pirates and Anarchy

Journalist Michael Scott Moore was held hostage for 32 months by Somali pirates. He is recovering. Will Somalia ever recover?

Polio's Last Stand

After dozens of vaccination workers were killed in Afghanistan, polio once again began to spread into the borderlands. The same strain is now re-surfacing in Syria.

Meet the Journalist: Joshua Kucera

Joshua Kucera traveled along the conventional border between Europe and Asia, from Istanbul's Bosphorus to the Russian Arctic—reporting on the people who live between East and West.

This Week: Stumbling Toward Nuclear War

This week: rising nuclear tensions through North Korea's eyes, refugees converting to Christianity, and how the exotic pet trade enables illegal wildlife practices in China.