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

Why Syrian Christians Back Assad

Syrian Christians now fear extremist rebels more than the government. Reese Erlich reports on shifting attitudes among the country's Christian minority.

Return to Afghanistan

Five years after her kidnapping, journalist Mellissa Fung returns to Afghanistan to complete the story she started at the time. See what she discovered, and how things have changed.

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.

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