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Lecture 2

pola90 week 2

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Political Science
Paul Kingston

“The Failed States Index, 2012” in Foreign Policy, July/August, 2012, p. 86-91. The 60 Most Fragile States in the World • state failure is an entrenched problem which the world is far from figuring out how to fix • everyone of the 20 countries atop this year's index has been there before: Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Iraq have never made it out of the top 10; Sudan has never ranked lower than third; and Somalia takes the unwanted No. 1 spot for the fifth straight year • the average score on the index is stagnant aka (constant, STUCK) prepared by fund for peace & published by FOREIGN POLICY, remained more or less steady from year-year • the 2011 Arab revolutions prove that dramatic change is still a possibility, if not a guarantee of progress; the biggest shifts in this year's index, Libya, Syria, and Egypt jumped markedly higher on the list, rising 61, 25, and 14 spots meaning that although revolutions may weaken or topple dictators, they can also provoke greater instability, a key indicator of state failure. Egypt's political disarray, and, more gravely, the thousands of Syrians who have died confronting strongman Bashar al-Assad, make this painfully clear. • majority of countries haven't seen their rankings change; 177 countries are assessed across 12 indicators, ranging from political stability to economic development to demographic strain. Beset by drought, famine, and violence, as well as a virtually nonfunctional government, Somalia ranks worst across six of the 12 indicators this year. Four other African countries -- Congo, Sudan, Chad, and Zimbabwe -- are top five on the list, reminders of the deep-rooted troubles afflicting much of the continent, home to more than half of the 60 worst-scoring countries. Elsewhere in the top 10, Afghanistan and Iraq earned scores only slightly better than last year's, as the United States sought to withdraw its troops amid a steady stream of sectarian violence and terrorism. haiti also recovered from 5 last year to 7 this year! • nothing is forever, even when it comes to the worst cases of human misery, who knows what the 2013 index beholds Top 20 index rank : RANK SCORE CHANGE RANK 1 Somalia 114.9 -- 2 Dem. Rep. of Congo 111.2 * 3 Sudan 109.4 -- 4 Chad 107.6 # 5 Zimbabwe 106.3 * 6 Afghanistan 106.0 * 7 Haiti 104.9 # 8 Yemen 104.8 * 9 Iraq 104.3 -- 10 Central African Republic 103.8 # 11 Ivory Coast 103.6 # 12 Guinea 101.9 # 13 Pakistan 101.6 # 14 Nigeria 101.1 -- 15 Guinea-Bissau 99.2 * 16 Kenya 98.4 -- 17 Ethiopia 97.9 * 18 Burundi 97.5 # 19 Niger 96.9 # 20 Uganda 96.5 BIGGST MOVERS: The Countries Whose Ranks Changed the Most - for Better or Worse 1. Libya 2. syria 3. Egypt 4. Zambia 5. Djibouti 6. Swaziland 7. Yemen 8. Eritrea 9. Mauritania 10. Guinea-Bissau 11. Ethiopia 12. Angola • Some countries fail with a total collapse of all state institutions like Afghanistan after soviet withdrawal and hanging of president najibullah • most countries that fall apart or fail not because of an explosion of war and violence but by being utterly unable to take advantage of their society's huge potential for growth, condemning their citizens to a lifetime of poverty. This type of slow, grinding failure leaves many countries in sub- Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America with living standards far, far below those in the West. • These states collapse because they are ruled by what we call "extractive" ( used or obtained through extraction) economic institutions, which destroy incentives, discourage innovation, and sap the talent of their citizens by creating a tilted playing field and robbing them of opportunities. These institutions are not in place by mistake but on purpose. • They're there for the benefit of elites who gain much from the extraction -- whether in the form of valuable minerals, forced labor, or protected monopolies -- at the expense of society. Of course, such elites benefit from rigged political institutions too, wielding their power to tilt the system for their benefit. But states built on exploitation inevitably fail, taking an entire corrupt system down with them and often leading to immense suffering. Each year the Failed States Index charts the tragic stats of state failure. Here's our guide to 10 ways it happens. 10 reasons countries fall apart: 1. property rights, economic institutions ie North Korea's, make it almost impossible for people to own property; the state owns everything, including nearly all land and capital. Agriculture is organized via collective farms. People work for the ruling Korean Workers' Party, not themselves, which destroys their incentive to succeed. ie2009, the government introduced a revalued currency and allowed people to convert only 100,000 to 150,000 won of the old currency into the new one (equivalent to about $35 to $40 at the black-market exchange rate). People who had worked and saved up stocks of the old currency found it to be worthless. 2. Forced Labour, coercion (forced authority) causes failure; looking back into history most economies were based on the coercion of workers -- think slavery, serfdom, and other forms of forced labor. forced labor is also responsible for the lack of innovation and technological progress in most of these societies, ranging from ancient Rome to the U.S. South. Uzbekistan ie, forced labour on children to pick up cotton bolls (as its major resource there) even during school , thus schools are empty, losers aren't only the children who are forced to work under harsh conditions in the cotton fields instead of going to school, the losers are Uzbek society, failed to break out poverty, everyone's poor except for the president whose doing well due to dominance of domestic oil, gas exploration
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