Category Archives: Analysis

Isolated Qatar Worsens Amid Pressure from Regional Adversaries

BY PATRICIA TAFT In a year of rapidly shifting priorities, alliances and politics across the greater Middle East, the small oil and gas-rich nation of Qatar took the greatest fall in the 2018 Fragile States Index (FSI). With a native population of barely 300,000 and a gross annual GDP of nearly US$181 billion, Qatar has […]

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Catalan Divorce Proceedings Fuel Spanish Division and Instability

BY AMANDA QUINN October 1, 2017 marked the beginning of an intense social, political and constitutional crisis in Spain as Catalonia, a semi-autonomous region in the northeast of Spain, attempted to secede from the rest of the country through a controversial referendum. The situation spiraled into chaos as the Spanish government first declared the referendum […]

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Golden Era of Growth Fails to Mask Deeper Grievances in Ethiopia

BY HANNAH BLYTH Since the end of an almost two-decades long civil war that began in 1991, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has provided relative political stability and enabled strong economic development. Though an inter-state conflict with Eritrea over disputed territory flared in 1998-2000, since the ceasefire was declared between the two countries […]

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From Attempted Coup to Attempted Autocracy: A Year of Instability in Turkey

BY AMANDA QUINN Bordered by eight countries and situated between Europe and Asia, Turkey has been affected by geopolitical forces on multiple fronts. In recent years, a combination of internal and external pressures has pushed the country into challenging times, especially throughout 2016. Turkey’s overall score on the 2017 Fragile States Index worsened by 3.5 […]

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Falling Behind the Pack: Brazil Endures A Difficult Year of Self-Inflicted Troubles

BY GEORGE LEHNER Brazil showed a significant decline in the 2017 FSI, becoming the fourth most worsened country since 2016, largely as a result of a devastating recession, continued fallout from widespread political corruption probes, and the impeachment of its President. Overall, Brazil worsened by 2.9 points on its total score compared to the prior […]

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Problems of the Rainbow Nation Viewed Across the Full Spectrum

BY J.J. MESSNER Over the past decade, the Rainbow Nation has also traversed much of the color spectrum on the Fragile States Index (FSI) map. Though our color palette is simply representative of a country’s score – green to blue for the most stable, yellow to deep red for the most fragile – the changing […]

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And Now For Some Good News: Where the World is Getting Better

BY DANIEL GANZ The most fragile — and the most worsened — countries tend to attract the most attention in the Fragile States Index (FSI). However, the reality is that the majority of countries are improving based on the FSI’s trends, and a number of countries have made considerable progress in the past decade based […]

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Cracks in the Foundation: United States and United Kingdom

BY NATE HAKEN Society is more resilient to shocks when social, economic, political and security pressures are manageable. However, an improving economy does not guarantee social and political cohesion. The United States is a case in point. In 2016, unemployment (at 4.9%) was at a 9-year low; GDP per capita (at US$57,500) was at an […]

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“So Far From God, So Close to the United States.” Mexico Most Worsened in 2017

BY GEORGE LEHNER It has been a tough year for Mexico. As Mexico has borne the brunt of combative political rhetoric from north of the border, the country has also weathered economic and political challenges, as well as an uptick of violence. The first weeks of 2017 saw widespread protests throughout Mexico, a sign that […]

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Colombia Enjoys a Peace Dividend After Half-Century of Conflict

BY CHRISTINA MURPHY Colombia captured international headlines and accolades in 2016 when the government signed a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). This victory for President Juan Manuel Santos’ government marked the beginning of the end for one of the world’s longest running civil wars. Although the deal was narrowly rejected […]

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