Failed State Index

It is sometimes claimed that 4GW thrives in failed/failing states. I’m not totally sure I buy this. For one thing, the 9/11 attacks were apparently conceived in Afghanistan, which had a pretty strong, even oppressive, government at the time, and planned in such places as Germany and the US.

On the other hand, it seems reasonable that 4GW groups — “global guerrillas” and similar transnational organizations — might do best where they don’t have a strong central government that could be pressured into interfering with their operations.

Whichever side you come down on, here is Foreign Policy‘s Failed State Index for 2012.

A couple of points that struck me:

  • Note how much their map resembles Tom Barnett’s “Pentagon’s New Map.” Hardly a coincidence, of course.
  • Look where the USA falls in their rankings.

2 thoughts on “Failed State Index

  1. Another interesting observation I made with regards to my country, Denmark, is that even though we drop below Norway for this years list (thanks for that, Breivik) there is an increase in score. This trend is common all the countries in the lower part of the rankings. So while there is betterment amongst the top scorers, there is a worsening in our countries. A sort of freedom entropy? Will we end with an over-all benevolent dictatorship for the system classified Earth? It does sometimes seem to me that we are bound that way.

  2. Or it could be just normal statistical noise. By the way, I don’t know that history holds out much hope for the “benevolent dictator” solution. In addition to Lord Acton’s famous observation (power corrupts and absolute power … ), there are the corrosive effects of being told how great you are for years and years, and all those hangers-on jockeying for position and succession.

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