May 2, 2006Foreign Affairs

Failed States Index 2006

The information is in the change

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Commenting on the Foreign Policy magazine’s launch of the Failed States Index last year, The Acorn wrote:

Although India gets the most favourable ranking, India’s inclusion in the index appears gratuituous. Although the publishers do state that all 191 countries will eventually be included in future revisions of the index, the arbitrary inclusion of countries hurts its objectivity.

Further, rankings by themselves do not convey as much information as the direction of their change. How countries change their position, even by this imperfect measure, will be the thing to watch in future years. [And now, a Failed States Index]Surely enough, India’s ranking improved (from 76 to 93) after more countries were included in this year’s tally. That far more countries were counted this year makes India’s inclusion a little less gratuitous. (via FP Passport)

And since we have last year’s index to compare, the relative change in scores reveals more than the absolute ranking. Pakistan and China plunged. Bhutan improved while Nepal deteriorated. Bangladesh remained where it was, improving its ranking marginally.

From ForeignPolicy.comFrom

Related Link: JK, on being surrounded by failed states.

Defining state failure’

A state that is failing has several attributes. One of the most common is the loss of physical control of its territory or a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Other attributes of state failure include the erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions, an inability to provide reasonable public services, and the inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community. The 12 indicators cover a wide range of state failure risk elements such as extensive corruption and criminal behavior, inability to collect taxes or otherwise draw on citizen support, large-scale involuntary dislocation of the population, sharp economic decline, group-based inequality, institutionalized persecution or discrimination, severe demographic pressures, brain drain, and environmental decay. States can fail at varying rates through explosion, implosion, erosion, or invasion over different time periods. [FP]

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