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

Part III: Chile's Enduring Rifts

“Many Chilean youth are committed to helping the country continue its arduous transition from a dictatorship to a vibrant democracy,” Jeff Kelly Lowenstein reports.

Part II: Chile's Enduring Rifts

Former President Michelle Bachelet fell short of a majority and about half of Chile's eligible voters stayed home in Chile's recent election. A look at a critical political choice in a new democracy.

Round three: Winning essays

In June 2008, The Pulitzer Center partnered with Helium to continue its third round of the Global Issues/Citizen Voices Writing Contest. Contestants chose topics for their essays from prompts related to different Pulitzer Center reporting projects. Find their winning essays below.

How does stigma and discrimination, as witnessed in Jamaica, perpetuate the global HIV/AIDS epidemic?
Read winning essay by Glynnis Hayward

Round Two: Winning Essays

In May 2008, the Pulitzer Center partnered with Helium to continue its second round of the Global Issues/Citizen Voices Writing Contest. Find the winning essays here.

Round One: Winning Essays

In March 2008, The Pulitzer Center partnered with Helium to launch its first round of the Global Issues/Citizen Voices Contest. Find the winning essays here.