Failed States Index 2009, with interactive map

interactive map of state fragility, to failed statesillustrate their Failed States Index 2009, covering 177 countries. Most fragile are Somalia, followed by Zimbabwe, Chad, Sudan and DRC. Most stable are (inevitably) the Scandinavians – Norway, followed by Finland and Sweden. Annoyingly, I can’t find anywhere on the site that says which countries have fallen/risen the most over the four years the FSI has been reporting, but you can work it out for yourself by clicking on the league table for each year. The methodology uses the Fund for Peace’s ‘Conflict Assessment System Tool’ (CAST), an original methodology it has developed and tested over the past decade. This rates 12 social, economic, political, and military indicators, which provides snapshots of state vulnerability or risk of violence for one time period each year. The data used in each index are collected from May to December of the preceding year. The CAST software indexed and scanned more than 90,000 open-source articles and reports using Boolean logic, which consists of key phrases designed to capture the variables measured. Full-text data are electronically gathered from a range of publicly available print, radio, television and Internet sources from all over the world, including international and local media reports, essays, interviews, polling and survey data, government documents, independent studies from think tanks, NGOs and universities, and even corporate financial filings. The software determines the salience of the 12 indicators as well as hundreds of sub-indicators by calculating the number of “hits” as a proportion of the sample for a given time period. Quantitative data is also included, when available. Subject-matter experts then review each score for every country and indicator, as well as consult the original documents, when necessary, to ensure accuracy. The 12 categories are: Social Indicators Mounting Demographic Pressures Massive Movement of Refugees or Internally Displaced Persons creating Complex Humanitarian Emergencies Legacy of Vengeance-Seeking Group Grievance or Group Paranoia Chronic and Sustained Human Flight Economic Indicators Uneven Economic Development along Group Lines Sharp and/or Severe Economic Decline Political Indicators Criminalization and/or Delegitimization of the State  Progressive Deterioration of Public Services  Suspension or Arbitrary Application of the Rule of Law and Widespread  Violation of Human Rights Security Apparatus Operates as a “State Within a State” Rise of Factionalized Elites Intervention of Other States or External Political Actors It all feels very odd – a nice tidy clickable map for desk jockeys looking for numbers on the human mayhem and misery of collapsing states. The methodology looks impressive, but obviously reflects the sources on which it is based – is it a reflection of media coverage rather than reality? Hard to say without spending some serious time picking over it – anyone done so?]]>

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One Response to “Failed States Index 2009, with interactive map”
  1. Two outstanding facts for me.
    1. After years of civil wars and a deep impact of the 2009 crisis, Ireland scores a better index than North America and West European Countries.
    2. The most critical countries are central african ones. They’re oviously in the Landlocked trap of the four Paul Collier’s traps. It would be intresting to know if they are in the other three.