Publications by J. J. Messner

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Predicting the World Cup (Assuming State Fragility Had Anything To Do With It)

Published July 3, 2014 | By J.J. Messner*

The Fragile States Index (FSI) is serious business, and it requires serious analysis and contemplation. Though the findings of the FSI should not be made light of, there is another pretty serious business going on right now: the World Cup. What if we combined these two themes? Is there any correlation between state fragility (or stability) and footballing proficiency? Could we predict the winner of the World Cup based on the FSI?

Fragile States Index 2014: Somalia Displaced as Most-Fragile State

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

As much as the 2014 Fragile States Index is significant for being the tenth anniversary of the Index (and for being the first to be named “Fragile States Index” rather than “Failed States Index”), it is especially notable for the change at the top: after six years in the number one position, Somalia has finally been overtaken, leaving South Sudan as the most fragile state in the world.

Fragile States Index 2014: The Book

Published June 24, 2014 | By J.J. Messner, Nate Haken, et al.

The Fragile 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 Fragile 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.

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.

Why We Renamed the Human Rights & Business Roundtable

Published January 14, 2014 | By J. J. Messner
 
When The Fund for Peace’s Human Rights & Business Roundtable was founded in 1996, the relationship between business and human rights was a hot topic, and one that called for much debate. Nearly two decades later, though human rights remains a core theme, the Roundtable has broadened its scope of issues, particularly around implementation and good practices. The Roundtable now examines issues as diverse as sustainable livelihoods and foreign direct investment – though these issues can certainly have a human rights angle, such topics are unarguably much broader than that.

Human Rights & Business Roundtable Annual Report 2013

Published January 13, 2014 | By J. J. Messner*

Launched in 1996, the Roundtable was the first forum designed for multinational businesses and mainstream human rights organizations to discuss issues of common concern in an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust, and confidentiality. Today, the Roundtable focuses exclusively on the extractive industry, although the lessons learned and case studies of the Roundtable provide value to all sectors. The Roundtable is an invaluable resource for corporations and NGOs to work together to promote sustainable development.

Morocco After the Arab Uprisings: Evolution Rather than Revolution

Published October 22, 2013 | By Krista Hendry and Dr. Ricardo René Larémont*

On September 27, 2013, The Fund for Peace hosted a Roundtable meeting in Washington, D.C. on the future of Morocco in the context of the Arab Spring. The Roundtable discussion, which sought to elicit policy recommendations, was led by Dr. Ricardo René Larémont of SUNY Binghampton. In leading the discussion, Dr. Larémont drew heavily upon his new book, Revolution, Revolt and Reform in North Africa: The Arab Spring and Beyond, that lends significant attention to Morocco. Participants were also provided Dr. Larémont’s discussion paper, Morocco After the Uprisings, which is included at the end of this report.

Human Rights Training for Security Forces in the Extractive Industry

Published October 18, 2013 | By J. J. Messner
 
A comic book may not seem like an obvious method of training military forces on human rights, but that is exactly what the Fund for Peace (FFP) has used for training in Cameroon. FFP has developed a human rights training program, in partnership with oil and gas exploration and production company Kosmos Energy and Cameroon’s Bataillon d’Intervention Rapide (BIR). This training seeks to provide soldiers, or “combatants” as they are known in the Cameroonian elite forces, with a practical understanding of how to ensure that the safety, security, and human rights of the people they come into contact with is safeguarded. The participatory nature of the training – where the combatants took a significant role in crafting the program – and its focus on the practicalities of human security will help to ensure the program’s acceptance and long-term effectiveness.

Government Shutdown and State Failure

Published October 2, 2013 | By J. J. Messner
 
The current shutdown of the U.S. Government, regardless of one’s political views, is pretty embarrassing for the world’s largest economy and (hopefully still) apparent beacon of democracy. Beyond the embarrassing – and some would claim, shameful – debacle unfolding on Capitol Hill, there is a more fundamental question that arises on whether this is a demonstration of the failure of a state. After all, our own definition of state failure includes “the erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions, an inability to provide reasonable public services.”

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