BY J.J. MESSNER, NATE HAKEN, KRISTA HENDRY, PATRICIA TAFT, KENDALL LAWRENCE, LAURA BRISARD, FELIPE UMANA
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.
The Fragile States Index is an annual ranking of 178 nations based on their levels of stability and the pressures they face. The Index is based on The Fund for Peace’s proprietary Conflict Assessment System Tool (CAST) analytical platform. Based on comprehensive social science methodology, data from three primary sources is triangulated and subjected to critical review to obtain final scores for the Fragile States Index.
Millions of documents are analyzed every year, and by applying highly specialized search parameters, scores are apportioned for every country based on twelve key political, social and economic indicators and over 100 sub-indicators that are the result of years of painstaking expert social science research.
The 2014 Fragile States Index, the tenth edition of the annual Index, comprises data collected between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013 — thus, certain well publicized events that have occurred since January 1, 2014 are not covered by the 2014 Index.
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