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

October 30, 2013

Peacekeepers: The Congo Case

Jon Sawyer, Kenny Katombe

UN enforcement of "responsibility to protect" has too often focused more on protecting UN troops than civilian populations. In eastern Congo UN military leaders are talking—and taking—a tougher line.

September 12, 2013

Facing Fears: Afghanistan on the Brink

Mellissa Fung

What will happen to the progress that’s been made in education and women’s rights in Afghanistan? It’s a legacy NGOs have spent millions building. And many Afghans worry it's what is most at risk.

August 13, 2013

Syria’s Displaced: Regional Implications

Alisa Roth, Hugh Eakin

At least 1.5 million people have fled the conflict in Syria. Most have taken refuge in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, where they are straining resources and raising concerns about regional stability.

July 24, 2013

Nigeria: U.S. Dollars and Dubious Results

Ameto Akpe

U.S. development projects target northern Nigeria where poverty, illiteracy and radical Islam shape economic and social realities, but the sustainability of these interventions is rarely discussed.

July 23, 2013

Afghanistan: On Its Own

Jeffrey E. Stern

Foreign troops are leaving Afghanistan. As the decade-long effort to secure the country draws to a close, how are Afghanistan’s most vulnerable communities preparing for the challenges that lie ahead?

April 11, 2013

Congo: Consequences of a Conflict with No End

Fiona Lloyd-Davies, Pete Jones

With suffering in Congo unabated, a series of multimedia projects examines a ‘conflict-free’ tin mine and investigates the mass rape of civilians during the November 2012 rebellion.