Greek Life: Understanding the Ramifications of State Fragility

Published August 12, 2015 | By Logan Cuthbert

The term “Grexit” has become a mainstay of political and economic discourse in recent times, becoming a necessary shorthand for one of the most significant challenges facing Europe in recent decades. The Grexit example demonstrates a number of important concepts – first, that in our highly globalized world, the struggles of one country of 11million people, can have wide reaching implications, particularly to its neighbors; and second, that metrics such as the Fragile States Index are just as applicable to advanced countries as they are to the most fragile in understanding weakness and charting their trends over time.

Acropolis Wow: Greece Continues on a Slippery Slope

Published June 17, 2015 | By Sebastian Pavlou

South Sudan has topped the Fragile States Index for the second year in succession, as the country continues to be wracked by internal conflict, fractious politics, and poverty. South Sudan is joined at the most fragile end of the Index by countries that have long struggled, such as Somalia, Central African Republic, Sudan, and D.R. Congo. However, a lack of change at the most fragile end of the Index (not to mention a similar lack of change at the sustainable end of the Index) belies the significant movement of a number of countries over the past year and indeed the past decade.

A Greek Tragedy

Published June 20, 2012 | By Patricia Taft

Continuing its downward spiral in the 2012 Failed States Index, Greece, the cradle of democracy, continued to fall into chaos. For a second year running, the country worsened across almost every indicator score with the political and economic indicators experiencing the deepest decline. In 2011, the Greek economy continued to backslide as the unemployment rate hovered around 20% for the year, with an estimated 50% of young Greeks unemployed. As in 2010, political crises ensued, and the perceived legitimacy of the Greek government plunged as more and more Greek citizens questioned the ability of elected officials to drag their country out of the morass. Indeed, throughout 2011, the general worsening of the indicators which measure economic, political and social pressures evidenced that the financial crisis that had gripped the country for two years was quickly spreading across multiple sectors. Public rage was palpable with tens of thousands of Greeks taking to the streets in June to protest proposed austerity measures that included significant tax hikes.

Crisis in the Midst of Recovery

Published June 18, 2011 | By Nate Haken

After having contracted by 0.5% in 2009, global GDP is now very much in recovery mode, with growth of around 5% in 2010. However, this does not mean smooth sailing either for developing or developed countries. In the last year there have been massive protests against governments’ economic stewardship in countries as disparate as Greece and Burkina Faso, illustrating the sobering truth that under certain conditions recovery can be even more destabilizing than recession.