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 13, 2017

What Is Left for Venezuelans?

Lila Franco

Venezuela is facing its biggest crisis yet: a high inflation rate, shortage of food and medicine, and abuse of power by authorities. And that's only part of the picture.

October 11, 2017

Iran Takes Charge in Iraq

Reza Sayah, Gelareh Kiazand

In a multi-part series for PBS NewsHour , Reza Sayah and Gelareh Kiazand look at Iran’s influence in its war-torn neighbor.

September 26, 2017

A New Era in Cuban Migration

José Antonio Iglesias, Mario J. Pentón, Luis Trelles

The Obama administration’s decision to end the "wet foot, dry foot" policy has created a migration and humanitarian crisis in Central and South America and a new era in Cuban migration.

September 26, 2017

'Treasonous' Young Kurds and a Referendum

Kenneth R. Rosen

Iraqi Kurdistan wants to split from Iraq's central government. But a group of young Kurds have joined controversial Baghdad-backed militias of Iraq. They provide a unique window on where the country may be heading.

September 08, 2017

North Korea in the Era of Kim Jong Un

Evan Osnos, Max Pinckers

Three days after Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. is "locked and loaded" in its nuclear standoff with North Korea, I arrived in Pyongyang to meet the officials responsible for analyzing America.

September 05, 2017

C.A.R. Crisis: When the State Is Absent

Cassandra Vinograd

As the Central African Republic slips back into chaos, the government is mostly powerless to intervene. Armed groups hold the power. Here's what happens—and who steps in—when state authority is absent.

Venezuela: The Airport from Hell

With the socio-politic and economic crisis in Venezuela, there has been a decline in  public services. This traveler's airport experience is one example of the current situation.

The Long Road from Cuba

Between 2014 and 2016, more than 100,000 Cubans entered the United States on foot. This is the story of three Cubans who made a clandestine voyage from Quito, Ecuador, to El Paso, Texas.

What Now for the Girls of War-Torn Syria?

In a bombed-out husk of a building on the outskirts of Tabqa, Gayle Lemmon met a family trying to wait out the hell of life under ISIS in Raqqa and the war for its liberation.

Meet the Journalist: Peter Gwin

How does a country fail? Peter Gwin spent three years traveling to the Central African Republic to look at how a rebellion destroyed the nation and what's happened to its wealth of resources.

This Week: Friends With Dictators

This week: The U.S.'s troublesome alliances with African dictators, Pulitzer tackles homophobia through NewsArts, and the true meaning of the Iraqi Kurdish referendum.