The World Square Blog is The Fund for Peace's international marketplace of ideas. At World Square, we aim for open dialogue on the key issues that FFP works on, including fragile states, conflict, security & human rights, and transnational threats.
 
World Square is also a venue for issues to be brought to FFP: If you would like to discuss an issue with FFP, tweet us at @fundforpeace.

 

Voices of Peace from Nigeria - Children in Conflict

Published July 8, 2014 | By Laura Brisard

When there is conflict, the entire community is affected. The most vulnerable, however, are children. Two members of the Partners for Peace network tell their stories about what happened to them more than 40 years ago, when they were little children during the Biafran War. These events may have occurred a long time ago, but the stories still resonate today. Around the world, as many as a billion children live in conflict affected areas. Half the Nigerian population is under the age of 18, making it among the youngest countries in the world. In Nigeria and elsewhere, it is the most innocent who are the most at risk during times of violence.

Measuring South Sudan: How Soon is Too Soon?

Published July 6, 2014 | By J.J. Messner

Every year the Fragile States Index (FSI) receives its fair share of compliments and criticism, the former often from those who wish to highlight and measure the challenges faced by countries, the latter often from those whose interests or sensibilities have been offended. This is par for the course for any organization that seeks to undertake the kind of research and analysis that FFP has done for 57 years. But every year we are often surprised by particularly unexpected commentary.

Predicting the World Cup (Assuming State Fragility Had Anything To Do With It)

Published July 3, 2014 | By J.J. Messner*

The Fragile States Index (FSI) is serious business, and it requires serious analysis and contemplation. Though the findings of the FSI should not be made light of, there is another pretty serious business going on right now: the World Cup. What if we combined these two themes? Is there any correlation between state fragility (or stability) and footballing proficiency? Could we predict the winner of the World Cup based on the FSI?

Press Release: Fragile States Index 2014 Released

Published June 24, 2014 | News from The Fund for Peace

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Fund for Peace today released the tenth edition of its annual Fragile States Index (FSI), highlighting global political, economic and social pressures experienced by states. For the first time, the 2014 FSI ranks South Sudan as number one, after Somalia had held that position for the previous six straight years; Somalia now drops to second. Newly-independent South Sudan finds itself burdened by increasingly fractious leadership and politics, severe internal strife, and widespread mass killings, frequently ethnically-based. Meanwhile, Finland has remained in the best position. The United States remains ranked at 159th, however its score worsened by 1.9 points, a relatively significant fall.

Renaming the Failed States Index

Published May 28, 2014
 
The Fund for Peace is excited to announce the official changing of the name of the Failed States Index to the Fragile States Index. When the Failed States Index (FSI) was first published in 2005, the use of the term ‘failed state’ was designed to highlight and draw attention to the very real risk that people faced if their state failed to address the factors and conditions that we were measuring. However, while the term certainly gained people’s attention, it also became a distraction away from the point of the Index, which is to encourage discussions that support an increase in human security and improved livelihoods.

Chibok: Not an Isolated Tragedy?

Published May 8, 2014 | By Patricia Taft and Nate Haken
 
Nigeria has been in the news a lot lately. Last month, in the capital city of Abuja, two bombs exploded at a crowded bus station claiming the lives of at least 88 people and injuring another 200. Then, that same evening in the northeast of the country, a raid on a school in the town of Chibok, Borno state, led to the abduction of over 300 girls, 276 of whom remain missing to date. The abductions, in particular, have spurred a wave of international outrage as the world casts about for who to blame and how to stem the violence. Activism tends to be categorical: accusing the government of taking too heavy handed an approach on the one hand, or on the other, of doing nothing at all. If that’s where the conversation ends, the recent groundswell of empathy will have been wasted.

Voices of Peace from Nigeria

Published April 21, 2014 | By Laura Brisard
 
From the outside, conflict dynamics can be bewildering in their complexity, particularly in a country as vast as Nigeria with telescoping fault-lines and polarities. After gaining independence from the United Kingdom in October 1960, the country fell into a civil war that killed over a million people before it finally ended in 1970. Military rule gave way to the Fourth Republic with the election of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. Since then conflict in Nigeria has included an insurgency in the Niger Delta which deescalated in 2009 as a result of an amnesty program for militants, periodic outbreaks of killing in the Middle Belt, and rising levels of violence in the Northeast.

The Price of the Recession: Social Resilience and National Resilience

Published April 3, 2014 | By Katherine Carter
 
The Failed States Index (FSI) uses political, economic, and economic indicators to determine the relative stability of a nation state and its resilience to potential unrest. The FSI examines how successfully states maintain legitimacy and cohesion in the face of internal or external pressures, but does not speak to how social trends in particular countries change in response to those pressures. In contrast to national resilience, social resilience refers to a community’s capacity to adapt and cope with significant adversity and to prepare for future challenges. As a ranking of states’ fragility, the indicators used in the FSI enable us to track countries’ progress from year to year, but do not easily convey the human cost of instability and how societies cope with instability on an emotional level.

Remembering Russell Hemenway, Former FFP Board Member

Published February 5, 2014 | By George Lehner
 
The Board of Trustees and staff of the Fund for Peace remember fondly our former Board member, Russell Hemenway, who passed away on January 30, at the age of 88. Russ joined the Board of FFP shortly after it was founded and ultimately was elected a life member of the FFP Board. Russ was also Chair of the Board of one of FFP's larger projects, the National Security Archive, now an independent organization. His commitment and dedication to the mission of the Fund for Peace were constant. His voice and commitment to the cause of peace will be missed.

Pages