Arab Spring Turns to Winter for Much of Middle East, North Africa

Published June 17, 2015 | By Felipe Umaña

Only a few years ago, much of the Fragile States Index analysis was following the aftermath of the Arab Spring. At the time, there was significant hope for the future, as the despotic regime of Muammar Gaddafi fell in Libya, similarly undemocratic regimes collapsed in Egypt and Tunisia, and other countries hastily rushed through liberal, democratic reforms in the hopes of staving off their own demise. But fast forward only a few years, and (despite generally positive signs in Tunisia) most of that hope has evaporated. Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen — among the 2015 Index’s most high risk nations — have witnessed some of the most significant declines over the past year.

Most Worsened Country for 2012: Libya

Published June 20, 2012 | By J. J. Messner

It probably comes as little surprise that the most worsened country in the 2012 Failed States Index was Libya. As the convulsions of the Arab Spring reached Libya, the nation spiraled from protest to brutal repression to civil war to regime change. Though Libya’s decline in the 2012 Index is hardly shocking, what does make it all the more remarkable is the scale of that decline. Indeed, the 16.2 point year-on-year increase since the 2011 Index marks the largest single year decline of a country in the history of the Failed States Index, eclipsing the previous record of 11.9 point jump experienced by Lebanon between 2006 and 2007 as a result of the short conflict with neighboring Israel. Libya also shot up 61 places, from 111th in 2011 to 50th in 2012.

Is Libya Dissolving?

Published March 30, 2012 | By Felipe Umaña

The Congress for the People of Cyrenaica, which was held in eastern Libya’s largest city, Benghazi, attracted international attention after the group demanded greater autonomy from the central government in Tripoli and a reversion to the federal Libya that existed in the 1950s. Cyrenaica — or Barqa, as it is referred to locally — stretches from the littoral town of Sirte (known famously as the birthplace of Muammar Gaddafi) to the eastern border with Egypt. The globally recognized representative of the Libyan people, the Tripoli-headquartered National Transitional Council (NTC), immediately rejected demands for greater self-government. Believing that more self-government may lead to the division of the Libyan state, the leader of the NTC, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, promised to defend the unity of Libya by force, if necessary.

Responsible Investment in the New Libya

Published February 28, 2012 | By J. J. Messner

Libya is currently undergoing a period of reconstruction after having endured a months-long civil war that brought to an end over four decades of dictatorial rule by Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi. As the country stabilizes and rebuilds, there will be significant interest in new and renewed investment in the country. It will be necessary for businesses to understand the challenges facing Libya in the short- and medium-term and to invest and operate responsibly in the country.

The Arab Spring: Where Did That Come From?

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.