By Aris Babikian
In its July /August issue–Foreign Policy magazine published its first annual Failed States Index. Turkey and Azerbaijan are ranked 49 and 50 respectably out of 60 countries surveyed. Turkey accumulated 86.1 points and Azerbaijan 85.7 points. Armenia was not included in the Index.
Produced by Foreign Policy and the Fund for Peace–the ranking measures the world’s most at-risk countries–based on 12 social–economic–political and military indicators. The Failed States Index was compiled using the Fund for Peace internationally-recognized Conflict Assessment System Tool (CAST).
According to Fund for Peace–a state is failing when its government begins to lose physical control of its territory or lacks a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Other indicators include the breaking down of authority–resulting in inability to make collective decisions–and become incapable to formally interact with other states as a full member of the international community.
As suggested by the list of 12 indicators–extensive corruption and criminal behavior–large-scale involuntary dislocation of the population–widespread violation of human rights–sharp economic decline–group-based inequality–and institutionalized persecution or discrimination are other hallmarks of state failure. States can decline at varying rates through explosion–implosion or erosion.
The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has warned–"Ignoring failed states creates problems that sometimes come back to bite us." French President Jacques Chirac has spoken of "the threat that failed states carry for the world’s equilibrium."
The 2005 Failed States Index is based on a sample of countries deemed to be the most vulnerable to violent conflict. The Fund for Peace updated a list of vulnerable countries using the "World Conflict and Human Rights Map," produced by Leiden University in Holland. The map identifies states with a history of high levels of internal violence and political oppression.
Tens of thousands of articles from global and regional open-sourced media were collected from May to December 2004. The Failed States Index will be updated annually.
The Fund for Peace is a non-profit educational–research and advocacy organization based in Washington. Its mission is to prevent war and to alleviate the conditions that cause war. Since 1996–it has specialized primarily on reducing conflict stemming from weak and failing states.
Foreign Policy is published since 1970 and is a major–award-winning magazine of global politics–economics–and ideas. It is published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.