Fragile or Failed States

Expert Roundup

Prospects for Afghanistan in 2014

Authors: Graeme Smith, Nader Nadery, Daniel S. Markey, Seth G. Jones, and Clare Lockhart

Afghanistan faces a critical year as NATO-led troops draw down, international aid drops, and elections could deliver the country's first democratic transfer of power. Five experts weigh Afghanistan's prospects in 2014.

See more in Afghanistan; Fragile or Failed States

Primary Sources

UN Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea: Somalia, 2013

The UN Security Council's Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea submitted this report on July 12, 2013, pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea and in accordance with paragraph 13 (m) of Security Council resolution 2060 (2012). These resolutions address how the UN Security Council will monitor peace and security efforts in the region and report on violations such as trading arms and charcoal or funding terrorist organizations.

See more in Somalia; Fragile or Failed States; Sanctions

Ask CFR Experts

Is an oppressive government better than anarchy?

Asked by Raveena

Both tyranny and anarchy are bad political options for a country. The political theorist Thomas Hobbes, looking at the ravages of anarchy during England's civil war in the 17th century, famously concluded that life without government was terrible because "there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; … no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, [is] solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short."

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See more in Fragile or Failed States; Regime Changes


Building Small Business Amid Great Challenge: Entrepreneurship in Fragile States (Audio)

Speaker: Shari Berenbach
Presider: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Shari Berenbach, director of the Microenterprise Development Office at USAID, details how the agency promotes entrepreneurship in conflict and developing regions by empowering and encouraging women to manage their own small- and medium-sized businesses.

This meeting was part of the Roundtable Series on Entrepreneurs and Market Linkages.

See more in Global; Fragile or Failed States; Entrepreneurship


Why Nations Fail (Audio)

Speaker: Daron Acemoglu
Presider: Isobel Coleman

In his new book Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, Daron Acemoglu looks at why some nations prosper and why some fail. He concludes that it depends on whether institutions are pluralistic and inclusive or extractive and autocratic.

See more in Global; Fragile or Failed States