Index compiled/researched by 'Fund for Peace' - An independent, nonpartisan, non-profit research and educational organization that works to prevent violent conflict and promote sustainable security. Top ten worst countries in 2013: South Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic , DR Congo, Sudan, Chad, Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti, Pakistan.
Fragile state: A state having little or no governance, endemic corruption, profiteering by ruling elites, very poor Human Rights, the government cannot/will not protect the population from others or itself, massive internal conflict, forced internal/external displacement, institutionalised political exclusion of significant numbers of the population, progressive deterioration of welfare infrastructure (hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses) not adequate to meet health, needs, progressive economic decline of the country as a whole as measured by per capita income, debt, severe child mortality rates, poverty levels.
The Fragile States Index ranks 178 (1 being worst, 178 best - (UK could only make 161, United States worsened by 1.9 points, a relatively significant downward move to 159) countries using 12 social, economic, and political indicators of pressure on the state, along with over 100 sub-indicators. These include such issues as Uneven Development, State Legitimacy, Group Grievance, and Human Rights. Each indicator is rated on a scale of 1-10, based on the analysis of millions of publicly available documents, other quantitative data, and assessments by analysts. A high score indicates high pressure on the state, and therefore a higher risk of instability.
Weak and failing states pose a challenge to the international community. In today's world, with its highly globalized economy, information systems and interlaced security, pressures on one fragile state can have serious repercussions not only for that state and its people, but also for its neighbours and other states halfway across the globe.
States have erupted into mass violence stemming from internal conflict. Some of these crises are ethnic conflicts. Some are civil wars. Others take on the form of revolutions. Many result in complex humanitarian emergencies. Though the dynamics may differ in each case, all of these conflicts stem from social, economic, and political pressures that have not been managed by professional, legitimate, and representative state institutions.
Fault lines emerge between identity groups, defined by language, religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, class, caste, clan or area of origin. Tensions can deteriorate into conflict through a variety of circumstances, such as competition over resources, predatory or fractured leadership, corruption, or unresolved group grievances. The reasons for state weakness and failure are complex but not unpredictable. It is critically important that the international community understand and closely monitor the conditions that create weak and Fragile states-and be prepared to take the necessary actions to deal with the underlying issues or otherwise mitigate the negative effects of state failure.
Fragile States Index Rankings 2014