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

January 16, 2018

The Center Cannot Hold

Jack Losh

Five years since war erupted, the Central African Republic is again spiralling out of control, with families caught in a deepening humanitarian crisis. How do you survive when your country is collapsing?

December 20, 2017

Trauma Among Syrian Refugees

Sawsan Morrar

While Syrians find refuge and aid in Jordan, little has been done to address the mental trauma they have faced—until now.

December 11, 2017

The Rohingya Crisis

Nahal Toosi

Did the United States ignore signs of a coming mass atrocity against the Rohingya when it chose to upgrade its relationship with Myanmar and lift sanctions on the country?

October 11, 2017

Iran Wins 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

'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 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.

The Karachi Circular Railway

Ivan Sigal’s multi-channel installation KCR explores the Karachi Circular Railway, a now-defunct commuter train that once connected the disparate neighborhoods of Pakistan’s largest metropolis.

Finding Therapy in Jordan

With only 60 to 100 psychiatrists in Jordan, there's little help for Syrian refugees. Local organizations and refugees are leading the work to ensure that refugees get the therapy that they need.

Meet the Journalist: Jackie Spinner

Jackie Spinner spent three months in Morocco exploring the ways in which the country has become a moderate Islamic hub in the North Africa and to examine the contrast between image and reality.

Meet the Journalist: Wes Bruer

A freelance journalist based in Brooklyn, Wes Bruer received a Pulitzer Center grant to pursue a story of a unique counterterrorism program being implemented by the U.S. State Dept in Mumbai, India.

This Week: Where Domestic Abuse Is Tolerated

This week: a harrowing look into Russian domestic violence, a special investigation into how Jewish Federations spend their money, and how Qatar is jailing new mothers and their babies.