Failed States

We’ve all heard of states – a territory that is organized under one government. However, what happens when this political structure just doesn’t work as it should? The result is a failed state.

There are two characteristics of a failed state. The first is that the government cannot project authority over the people and the territory. The second is that it is unable to protect its boundaries. In other words, the government structure is completely unsuccessful. The government of a failed state is unable to control its people or resources, and there are very few – if any – public services available.

There are many reasons why a state would fail. A predatory and corrupt government is one major reason. Other reasons include civil wars, genocide, and ethnic violence. A failed state can’t implement public policies, infrastructure is not effectively built, and civil liberties and human rights are unprotected. There is no physical security for a failed state’s residents, and there is no stable political or economic systems in place.

Currently, there are many states throughout the world that are noted to be “failed states,” while others classify them as “vulnerable,” meaning that unless change comes soon, the states will fail.

Some of the states most in danger of failing include states like Nicaragua, Brazil, Sudan, and North Korea, due to corruption. States like Libya, Iraq, Pakistan and Siberia are in danger of failing because of rebellion. Other states including Nigeria and Nepal are at risk because of democratic collapse. States including Iraq, Yemen and Turkey are in danger to religious and ethnic conflicts.

Flag Name Area Population 2018 Growth Rate
Brazil8,515,767 km²210,867,9540.75%
Pakistan881,912 km²200,813,8181.93%
Nigeria923,768 km²195,875,2372.61%
Turkey783,562 km²81,916,8711.45%
Sudan1,886,068 km²41,511,5262.41%
Iraq438,317 km²39,339,7532.78%
Nepal147,181 km²29,624,0351.09%
Yemen527,968 km²28,915,2842.35%
North Korea120,538 km²25,610,6720.47%
Libya1,759,540 km²6,470,9561.51%
Nicaragua130,373 km²6,284,7571.08%