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

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.

March 11, 2014

Russ Feingold in the Congo

Stuart A. Reid

For two decades, the eastern Congo has been ravaged by civil war. Can a former U.S. senator help bring peace?

November 22, 2013

How Assad Hangs On

Reese Erlich

Many experts thought Assad would be out of power by now. But the initial popular uprising has devolved into religious and ethnic strife. Assad is seen by some as the best hope for stability.

U.S. Special Forces See Hope in Syria

Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with Gayle Tzemach Lemmon of the Council on Foreign Relations, who made a recent trip to Syria and spoke with American troops.

Meet the Journalist: Dominic Bracco

Photojournalist Dominic Bracco II's reporting follows Diego, a former gang member on his personal journey for reconciliation and redemption. In this video Bracco gives a behind-the-scenes look at the history of violence in Juarez.