Most Improved Country for 2012: Kyrgyzstan

Published June 20, 2012 | By Patricia Taft

The most improved country in the 2012 Failed States Index, the landlocked Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan, seems an unlikely one. Since independence from Russia in 1991, the country has been beset with a host of problems that have spanned political, social and economic lines. Like several of its Central Asian neighbors, the country plays host to various ethnic minorities, with Uzbeks the predominant group in the South of the country. Keeping in line with several other Central Asian Republics, Kyrgyzstan was ruled from independence by a series of authoritarian regimes which brutally quelled opposition and strangled freedom of expression in all its forms. Adding to the tinderbox are myriad demographic pressures resulting from disputes over natural resources, particularly in the Ferghana Valley, as well as the country’s complex relationship with Russia and, at times, the U.S.

Kyrgyzstan’s Forgotten Revolution

Published June 18, 2011 | By Annie Janus

With much of the world’s attention turned to the Arab Spring, Kyrgyzstan’s 2010 revolution seems to have been forgotten. Nevertheless, Kyrgyzstan’s politically tumultuous year has seen it worsen significantly in the Failed States Index, moving from 45th position to a more serious 31st, and into the Alert category. Kyrgyzstan’s worsening in this year’s index reflects dramatic reversals in several scores that tend to indicate the state’s susceptibility to internal conflict, and as such, these worsening scores are largely are result of the 2010 revolutions.