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Which Countries Are on the Brink of Failure?

Foreign Policy has partnered with the Fund for Peace to issue the first annual Failed States Index. Here’s the Top 20:


Rank Country
1 Cote d’Ivoire
2 Congo
3 Sudan
4 Iraq
5 Somalia
6 Sierra Leone
7 Chad
8 Yemen
9 Liberia
10 Haiti
11 Afghanistan
12 Rwanda
13 North Korea
14 Colombia
15 Zimbabwe
16 Guinea
17 Bangladesh
18 Burundi
19 Dominican Republic
20 Central African Republic

No real surprises here. What’s equally unsurprising (though nonetheless appalling) is how little coverage the press is giving the high-ranking countries:

I’d venture to guess that some of the disparities are even more severe than the graph suggests. For instance, many recent stories on Bosnia have focused on the Srebrenica massacre’s tenth anniversary. While some accounts have touched on continuing national problems, most haven’t specifically highlighted the critical idea of state failure.

Down the table, it’s interesting to note that the Philippines stands at #56 — right above Iran, Cuba, and Russia. Surely, the possibility of impeachment doesn’t help its cause. And last year’s shameful capitulation to terrorists should be among the factors that contribute to its ranking.

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About Robert Tagorda

Comments

  1. PIP says:

    What’s equally unsurprising (though nonetheless appalling) is how little coverage the press is giving the high-ranking countries:

    I don’t think any of the major news networks (cable and broadcast) have full time correspondents in sub-saharan Africa. The news organizations would probably disagree with your characterization of lack of coverage as “appaling” and say that the US media consumer doesn’t care too much about Africa.

    The interesting omission on the list: Israeli-occupied Palestine.

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  2. Franz says:

    ” The news organizations would probably disagree with your characterization of lack of coverage as “appaling” and say that the US media consumer doesn’t care too much about Africa. ”

    Yah , here in Canada its different , oh wait , I keep forgeting thats one of the many “we are superior” lies we Canadians like to tell ourselves .

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  3. jihafhion says:

    Yah , here in Canada its different , oh wait , I keep forgeting thats one of the many “we are superior” lies we Canadians like to tell ourselves .

    The interesting omission on the list: Israeli-occupied Palestine.

    The real omission is Canada–Paulie Martin is certainly overseeing the failure of the state!

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  4. The work of Fund for Peace is interesting but the methodology is somewhat opaque.

    I think its worth looking at the FFP faq and the index itself. A couple of things to note:

    1) It is not a predictive model and as such doesn’t say how states move from fragile to failed and back again

    2) there appears to be limited capacity for forecasting

    3) their interactive index is similar to those found on other sites

    There is a lot of good work being done on state failure in the US, Europe and Canada. For those who are interested please refer to various links found on the cifp site at http://www.carleton.ca/cifp.

    see in particular our risk assessment reports for SS Africa, Eastern Europe and SE Asia. We make an effort to cite, credit and reference all of our research.

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