Top 10 Failed States (2011)

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6. Haiti:

Haiti has been included on this list by Fund for Peace. The state has suffered a blow during the 2010 earthquake. The Presidential palace was unable to withhold the tremors. In 2011, the country moved up 6 spots on the index.

Haiti is historically significant as it was the first black republic to gain independence from the Europeans when 500,000 slaves revolted against the white colonizers. Haitians to this day still believe that they were not forgiven for their uprisings by the Europeans.

It is also economically significant as one of the first embargoes in history was that against Haiti. The United States did not recognise Haiti as a country until the 1860s when their own slave regime crumbled. France also did not recognise Haiti as a country until it paid a crushing multi-million dollar indemnity.

Patrick Eli, a Haitian politician, argues that Haiti will always be an example of a failed state because of the  way it is perceived by the world. Slaves did what was unthinkable in other nations at that time and since then violence, corruption and poverty have plagued Haiti’s history. It remains one of the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, corruption is rampant and unemployment has skyrocketed to over 70 per cent.

Internal fights for power and an unequal distribution of resources are partly to blame. Up until 2010, a group of families control the Haitian economy and until no one has been able to change this even with the earthquake that shattered the country in 2010.


7. North Korea:

North Korea has suffered a tremendous loss of their Dear Leader, Kim Jong-Il, on December 17, 2011. The new leader, Kim Jong-un is inexperienced and young. He also had only 2 years of preparation, according to The Daily Beast. Is this enough for him to keep running a state embroiled in famine, hunger, poverty and political corruption? Only time will tell.


8. Russia:

Large oppositions have arisen against Putin and his powers in Russia. Many protestors have lined up on the streets of Moscow to demand fair and non-rigged elections. Could this be enough to bring down Putin? We can only wait and see. What we already know is that the protestors are persistent. Putin may not have any other choice.


9. Zimbabwe:

This country has also topped the list of Failed States, despite power sharing agreement in place. The country is rocked by political instability, government repression and economic poverty.


10. Iraq:

The future of this country is uncertain as the Vice-President keeps on supporting violence in the country. The withdrawal of United States forces has seen more instability than ever before. Future is uncertain in this case as well.


There is a high correlation between terrorism and failing states.  Critics have stressed that failed states indicators are mostly based on aggregated scores for different performances, such as security, governance, economics etc. They are partly correct in their assumptions. Other critics believe that there should be some differentiation between a government’s willingness to deliver and assist and governments that are refusing to help boost their state activities.

One thing is for sure, among the top 10 failing states on this list, 8 of them are run by governments that are unwilling to co-operate. Almost all face different challenges from global strife, to post-conflict recovery to terrorist threats. Let’s examine this further in 2012 to see if any of the following countries made any progress.


Word Dialogue,

Population Institute,


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