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 Governance, 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.



Sudan: Just another Darfurian's story?

When I decided to come to Sudan, I specifically chose not to focus on Darfur in my reporting because I felt it was already widely covered in the media (unlike other areas of Sudan). Everyone already knows about this, I told myself, let's look at something else. Even as a journalist, sometimes I focus too much on the logical reasoning (ie. "Is this really news? Haven't we already heard this before?") and forget that most basic instinct of wanting to hear and understand another human being's experience and suffering.

You can/can't go home again

There are approximately 5 million refugees inside and outside Iraq. Yesterday Rick and I went back to Chikook, a refugee neighborhood on the north side of town that is home to, by local estimates, some 4,000 families. Even though the sectarian violence around Baghdad has largely ended for the moment, the neighborhood is still growing as families who had been renting houses in other neighborhoods run out of money and are forced to move there.

Sudan: The Ocampo Affair

The move by the International Criminal Court to have Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir arrested for crimes of genocide and war crimes in Darfur has been all the rage in the past few days, both in the International press and here in Sudan. Endless opinion pieces in Sudanese newspapers have denounced the move. Daily, people who support the president have protested outside embassies who support the ICC, calling the decision "racist" and "unfair".

Sudan: Here We Go!

I arrived in the dusty Sudanese capital Khartoum three weeks ago – after more than 30 hours of travel, two nights of airports and planes and way too many screaming babies.

Khartoum is not what I expected – much more alive and developed. The sun is as hot as everyone warned, but it is more than manageable with enough water and occasional escape to fanned or air-conditioned areas. There are many paved roads, but still enough sand to get in your eyes on a windy day.

Canadian Languishes in Embassy in Sudan

Abousfian Abdelrazik takes the picture frame into his hands. His eyes open wide. "Kouteyba," he says, gently, longingly, as he looks at the picture of the son he hasn't seen in five years. "He's a big boy now." He puts the frame aside; then he picks it up again. "He's a big boy now," he repeats, shaking his head ...

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