Category Archives: Analysis

The Sad Song of Venezuela

BY CHARLES FIERTZ When the famed Chilean author, Isabel Allende, had to leave her native country in the wake of the military coup against leftist president Salvador Allende in 1973, she and her family fled to the safety and stability of Venezuela, then a beacon among the tumult of Latin America. In a recent interview, […]

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Brazil’s Slide Continues and Takes a Lurch to the Right

BY CHARLES FIERTZ As Brazil continues its 5-year slide of worsening on the Fragile States Index (FSI), this year marks the country’s sharpest year-on-year decline yet, seeing it tie for most-worsened country. Dashing tentative hopes for reversal and recovery that had emerged at the end of 2017, 2018 saw the collapse of the first shoots […]

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Yemen Takes Top Position as Most Fragile State

BY CHRISTINA MURPHY As much as we try to focus on the performance of individual countries on their own terms, there is an unavoidable curiosity and interest attached to the rankings of the Fragile States Index (FSI), and specifically to the country that ranks “top.” In the history of the FSI, only three countries had […]

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Second Time Unlucky for Nicaragua

BY CHARLES FIERTZ In a sharp reversal from nearly a decade of almost continuous improvement, Nicaragua has taken a sharp turn to rank as the third most-worsened country on the 2019 Fragile States Index (FSI). The eruption of mass protests (quelled only after months of violent crackdowns) has shaken the image of Nicaragua as an […]

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Rumblings of Arab Spring 2.0

BY PATRICIA TAFT In late 2010, in a city in central Tunisia, a young street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself ablaze in a final act of defiance and frustration after police confiscated his wares on the street. While his protest may have been localized, the sentiment was not. After nearly three decades of falling […]

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Understanding Resilience: The Case of Somalia

BY NATE HAKEN Global efforts at poverty reduction through infrastructure and institution-building have been an overwhelming international success, with poverty rates having dropped precipitously in the last twenty years. However, there is a glaring exception. In fragile states, with protracted or recurrent crisis, international and multilateral development efforts have not worked. In this “last mile”, […]

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Ethiopia on the Rise

BY HANNAH BLYTH AND DANIET MOGES Ethiopia experienced a momentous year of political transformation in 2018. Despite a steadily worsening trend over the decade to 2017, Ethiopia is the most-improved country on the 2019 Fragile States Index (FSI). Improving by 5.3 points to a score of 94.2 in this year’s FSI, the country‘s performance could […]

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Africa’s Islands of Stability

BY J.J. MESSNER “Mauritius was made first and then heaven … and heaven was copied after Mauritius.” So said Mark Twain in 1896 at a time when the small Indian Ocean island nation was under British rule (after having previously changed hands from the Portuguese, to the Dutch, and then to the French). At a time […]

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The Caucasus Give Cause for Cautious Optimism

BY PATRICIA TAFT Straddling Europe and Asia, the South Caucasus has long been considered a region of strategic importance for past empires and modern-day superpowers. It is also a land where the echoes of the Cold War continue to play out decades after the collapse of the Former Soviet Union and the realignment of the […]

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Remembering Former FFP Board Trustee Ambassador Princeton Lyman

FUND FOR PEACE BOARD OF TRUSTEES It is with deep sadness that Fund for Peace recognizes the passing of its former Board Trustee, Ambassador Princeton Lyman. As a former Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs (1981-1986), U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria (1986-1989), Director of U.S. Refugee programs (1989-1992), U.S. Ambassador to South Africa (1992-1995), and […]

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