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

August 22, 2014

When Militiamen Rule

Ty McCormick

Less than three years after independence, South Sudan collapsed into civil war. Thousands have died and famine looms on the horizon. Can rebel-leaders-turned-politicians lead the way to peace?

July 29, 2014

Afghanistan: Packing Up War

Meg Jones, Meghan Dhaliwal

How do you turn the lights off on a war? Wars end when troops come home, but what happens to all the stuff?

June 26, 2014

Syria: Children of ISIS

James Harkin

How some of northern Syria’s children are being reared into a life of praying and jihad by a new kind of puritanical islamist group called the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham.

June 18, 2014

The Karachi Circular Railway

Ivan Sigal

An investigation of Karachi's urban development, tracing a defunct public transport route to explore stories about the city’s growth, its urban present, its rural past and its possible futures.

May 02, 2014

From "the Other Iraq" to Kurdistan

Jenna Krajeski, Sebastian Meyer

Today Iraq is consumed by sectarian fighting, but in the north the legacy of the US-led war is progress. Iraqi Kurdistan has autonomy, security, and oil. But what is Kurdistan beyond "the other Iraq"?

March 24, 2014

The Gangs of Karachi

Matthieu Aikins

Karachi is the world’s most violent city, with about 2,000 murders in 2013 as a result of its virulent gang politics. The city’s gangsters are openly linked to Pakistan’s national parties.

Meet the Journalist: Lauren Markham

Meet Lauren Markham, a journalist reporting from El Salvador for the Pulitzer Center and VQR Magazine about the mounting violence in the capital city and prospects of meaningful change.

Gender Lens: Refugees and Migration

Journalists and activists joined together for a conversation on the impact of gender and gender roles on the refugee experience—exploring how the most vulnerable are affected and how they cope.