The 2009 edition in the Global Report series is published jointly by CSP and the Center for Global Policy with generous support provided by the One Earth Future Foundation; the electronic copy is now posted in the CSP Virtual Library or click “Global Report 2009”
Fragile States Index (Color Coded Maps 1995, 2001, 2008)Effective conflict management results from a congruence between state capacity and the systemic risk factors that “fuel” conflict dynamics and the escalation to violence. Global Report 2009 is now available; it includes a detailed assessment of “state fragility” for each of the world’s 162 major countries (with populations greater than 500,000) that comprises a 2×4 matrix of indicators (effectiveness and legitimacy indicators for security, governance, economic, and social dimensions of state performance). In Global Report 2009 we chronicle a 19% overall improvement in state fragility in the global system since 1995.
“Global Terrorism” is often identified as a key security threat. Indeed, the numbers of people killed in “high casualty terrorist bombings” (HCTB–bomb attacks on non-combatant targets resulting in 15 deaths or more) increased dramatically after the September 11, 2001, attack on the United States. However, most of these attacks have been concentrated in a handful of locations in the Middle East and South Asia and have taken place mainly in Iraq in recent years. There was a dramatic surge in HCTB attacks in Iraq in the first eight months of 2007 (claiming more than 3,761 lives and 87% of the global total during that period). Attacks in Iraq dropped sharply beginning in early September 2007, falling from 2677 deaths in the previous period to 712, 663, and 512 deaths in the following three six-month periods. HCTB attacks in Iraq have increased in the most recent period, ending in early September 2009 (926 deaths).
This Center for Preventive Action Working Paper surveys existing approaches to assessing state fragility and failure within the context of development, conflict, and governance. It examines the risk factors that have been identified through systematic inquiry and research with the goal of improving the prospects for successful conflict prevention and management, and argues that the goal of “early warning” relating to state fragility and failure should be more to inform and temper our expectations for policy response than to trigger costly and risky interventions.