It Takes a Generation: West African Success Stories

Published June 24, 2014 | By Nate Haken

Many truisms about peace-building incline towards pessimism. There is a “vicious cycle,” a “conflict trap,” “unintended consequences,” the problem of “political will,” and a slew of transnational “exogenous pressures” beyond the sphere of anyone’s control. Certainly, the Fragile States Index (FSI) is often perceived as a buffet of bad news stories and cautionary tales with the same sorry countries at the top of the list year after year. But there are also cases of sustained and steady progress that give occasion for hope. Liberia and Sierra Leone in West Africa offer two lessons for peace-builders working for lasting change.

A Decade of Recovery: Bosnia and the Balkans Bounce Back

Published June 24, 2014 | By Laura Brisard

A decade of Fragile States Index (FSI) data gives the opportunity to focus on the parts of the world that are truly improving. Two countries nearly tied for most-improved country of the past decade: Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) and Indonesia. The Fund for Peace has previously covered the promising development of Indonesia, and it would appear that this trend is continuing. However, what makes BiH especially interesting is that it is not merely one single country that is leading the charts — it’s part of an entire neighborhood of improvement.

Ten Years of the Fragile States Index

Published June 24, 2014 | By J. J. Messner

Now with ten years of data from the Fragile States Index (FSI), we have the opportunity to look back on a decade of trends. Though it is useful and informative to view countries’ performances in a given year, it really is just a snapshot in time. Viewing short term trends from year-to-year does add some color to that analysis, but it still does not allow for the slow pace of change that development often entails.

Most Improved Country for 2014: Iran

Published June 24, 2014 | By Felipe Umaña

Iran, despite its hefty domestic and international political issues and obdurate theocratic government, has taken several gradual but important steps to improve its standing on the world stage over the past year. These improvements, which occurred in all but one of the twelve indicators analyzed, have made it the 2014 Fragile States Index’s most improved country.

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.

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.

CAST Guide d’Évaluation des Conflits

Published March 10, 2014

Dans le cadre de sa mission, le FFP se concentre sur le développement de stratégies pratiques et d’outils constructifs permettant de faire face aux questions liées à la sécurité découlant d’Etats fragiles et en déliquescence. Un de ces outils est le CAST (Conflict Assessment System Tool), une méthodologie développée par le FFP qui permet d’évaluer les possibilités d’effondrement des Etats. Cet outil mesure ces possibilités dans des contextes de pré-conflit, de conflit actif et d’après conflit. Cette méthodologie utilise aussi bien des indicateurs qualitatifs que quantitatifs, se fie à des sources publiques de données, et génère des résultats quantifiables. Le CAST a diverses mises en pratiques pour les gouvernements, les organisations internationales, les sociétés privées, les organisations humanitaires, les armées, les chercheurs et les média.

CAST Conflict Assessment Framework Manual

Published March 10, 2014

FFP focuses on developing practical strategies and constructive tools for meeting security challenges stemming from weak and failing states. One of those tools is CAST (Conflict Assessment System Tool), a methodology developed by FFP for assessing the vulnerability of states to collapse. It measures this vulnerability in pre-conflict, active conflict and post-conflict situations. The methodology uses both qualitative and quantitative indicators, relies on public source data, and produces quantifiable results. It has diverse applications for governments, international organizations, private corporations, humanitarian organizations, the military, academic scholars and the media.

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