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

Haiti in Crisis

Mark Stanley, Pulitzer Center

The worst earthquake to strike Haiti in 200 years rattled the country yesterday, leaving the infrastructure in shambles and thousands dead. The quake hit just as many believed Haiti was achieving some semblance of stability; relative political repose under President René Préval and heavy United Nations presence enabled economic growth and promised increased foreign investments.

Pulitzer Center grantees Jason Maloney and Kira Kay recently reported on these hopeful developments. In their project on fragile states, they write:

Nir Rosen responds to critics

Nathalie Applewhite, Pulitzer Center

In his Boston Review article, "Something from Nothing: U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan," Pulitzer Center journalist Nir Rosen argues that counterinsurgency doesn't make sense. It asks soldiers, concerned primarily with survival, to be Wyatt Earp and Mother Theresa.

Pulitzer Center journalists cover Afghanistan

Tatum Taylor, Pulitzer Center

As the post-election drama continues and publicity over the US military's counterinsurgency strategies grows, journalists are increasingly turning their attention towards Afghanistan. Pulitzer Center journalists have been consistently reporting from Afghanistan in order to inform the conversation, and we wanted to share with you the range of their work.

Marco Vernaschi named finalist in international photo competition

Pulitzer-supported photojournalist Marco Vernaschi was among 10 finalists selected at the Ojo de Pez Award for Human Values, a major international photography competition, for his in-depth examination of the illegal activity within Guinea Bissau, "West Africa's New Achilles' Heel." He and his fellow finalists were chosen from 620 entries.