Failed States Index

June 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

In this year’s Failed States index, which started in 2005 and is prepared by the Fund for Peace and published annually by Foreign Policy Somalia takes the unwanted No. 1 spot for the fifth straight year.

Iraq has never made it out of the top 10. And the biggest shifts in this year’s index were registered by Libya, Syria, and Egypt — all three countries jumped markedly higher on the list, a reminder that although revolutions may weaken or topple dictators, they can also provoke greater instability.

How is the MENA region doing? Not so well… Apart from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which appear as “stable” (thanks to oil and gas revenues and its U.S. ally?). Oman (in yellow) stands in the middle, as the only “borderline” state across the Middle East and North Africa. Otherwise the whole region, which has been in turmoil for some time now, with at its heart the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is considered as “critical” or “in danger”. No big surprise there. The “Arab revolts”, also known as the “Arab spring” in the western press (annoying a great number of Arab commentators), have been bringing more instability so far than real democratic change and/or stability (still a bit too early?).

Most of the countries deemed as “stable” or “most stable” (in green) are to be found in the West (facing a deep economic crisis, which is also global): Western Europe (what about Greece though? And the gloomy prospect of a Eurogeddon?), North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Few “stable” pockets otherwise appear in Asia with Japan and South Korea in the far east, and in Latin America with Chile, Argentine and the tiny state of  Costa Rica.

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