Most Improved Country for 2013: Japan

Published June 24, 2013 | By Sebastian Pavlou

Japan continues to recover with relative speed from the triple crisis of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown that devastated the country on March 11, 2011. After the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami tore through the country's north-eastern coastal communities of Miyagi, Iwatu and Fukushima, at least 20,851 people died or remain missing. This figure includes the confirmed number of dead, 15,881, those who are missing, 2,668, and 2,303 others who died from disaster-related issues.

Failed States Index 2013: The Troubled Ten

Published June 24, 2013 | By J. J. Messner & Kendall Lawrence

Though it is called the Failed States Index, that is not to say that every country on the FSI is a failed state — after all, Finland is ranked on the FSI. That is also not to say that any country on the FSI is necessarily failed — though Somalia might be the closest approximation to what many people may consider to be a failed state. Rather, the Failed States Index measures the pressures experienced by countries and thus adjudges their susceptibility to state failure. Ranking top on the FSI does not in and of itself mean that a country is failed — it simply means that of all countries, that one country is the most at risk of failure.

The Dark Side of State Building: South Sudan

Published June 24, 2013 | By Nate Haken & Patricia Taft

For sustainable human security, statebuilding is the only endgame. Absent the state, traditional mechanisms and authority structures might indeed manage communal issues, perhaps even better than would the state. Trans-communal issues like environmental degradation, complex humanitarian emergencies, and large scale conflict, however, go beyond the jurisdiction and capacity of such entities. Building a legitimate, professional, and representative state, therefore, is the only way to address the problems of the modern, interconnected world. This process is inherently messy, however, as demonstrated in the case of the world’s newest state, South Sudan, number four on this year’s Failed States Index.

The Recovery of Somalia: Check Back With Us Again Next Year

Published June 24, 2013 | By Felipe Umaña

Somalia has been what many would describe as the quintessential “failed state” since the inception of the Failed States Index (FSI). Struggling with an occasionally unforgiving semi-arid topography in much of the North, widespread poverty as a result of tight competition for few resources, and mired by high levels of insecurity, an inchoate political system, and a disjointed sovereignty, Somalia has performed poorly in virtually every indicator measured on this and other global indices.

The Year of Red-Line Diplomacy

Published June 24, 2013 | By Patricia Taft

The top several tiers of the annual Failed States Index (FSI) are often occupied not only by weak and fractured states at risk for conflict, but also states that have, over the years, been the proverbial thorns in the side of the international community. Each year these chart toppers, often impervious by either choice or circumstance to reform, test the mettle of world leaders tasked with coming up with strategies for dealing with their dangerous behavior.

Failed States Index 2013: The Book

Published June 24, 2013 | By J.J. Messner, Nate Haken, et al.

The Failed States Index, produced by The Fund for Peace, is a critical tool in highlighting not only the normal pressures that all states experience, but also in identifying when those pressures are pushing a state towards the brink of failure. By highlighting pertinent issues in weak and failing states, The Failed States Index—and the social science framework and software application upon which it is built—makes political risk assessment and early warning of conflict accessible to policy-makers and the public at large.

Failed States Index 2013 Launch Event

FFP Event - July 9, 2013

Join The Fund for Peace for the launch of this year’s Failed States Index (FSI). The FSI is a leading index that annually highlights current trends in social, economic and political pressures that affect all states, but can strain some beyond their capacity to cope. Apart from the impact on their people, fragile and failed states present the international community with a variety of challenges. In today's world, with its globalized economy, information systems and security challenges, pressures on one fragile state can have serious repercussions not only for that state and its people, but also for its neighbors and other states halfway across the globe.

Al Jazeera Coverage of Failed States Index 2012

Broadcast August 26, 2012 | With J. J. Messner

What makes a failed state? Each year the Fund for Peace (FFP) releases its Failed States Index, a country ranking based on a set of indicators assessing stability and vulnerability. FFP hopes that governments and NGOs can use it as a policy tool for improvements. But critics question the value and fairness of the Index, suggesting it paints an incomplete picture. In this episode of The Stream, we speak to J.J. Messner, Co-Director of the Failed States Index.

Why Indonesia is Not a Failed State

Published August 3, 2012 | By Krista Hendry
 
We at The Fund for Peace have been very excited about the way the Failed States Index (FSI) is being publicly debated in Indonesia. Our main goal in creating the Index is to call attention to issues and challenges many countries are facing. It is not meant as a shaming tool against any government. Rather, it is a tool we hope government and civil society will use to perform more in-depth analyses of the issues we measure based on local knowledge. They can then better map priorities, measure progress on issues, and hopefully identify gaps where they can work in collaboration to strengthen the various social, economic, and political indicators we assess.

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