IPCS_Special_Report_184_FSI2016-A_Review - CONTENTS 1...

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CONTENTS 1 INTRODUCTION: ASSESSING THE INDEX Derek Verbakel and Marie Pavageau 3 FSI'S BROADER CONCLUSIONS: METHODOLOGY, EMPIRICAL TRENDS AND CURRENT REALITIES Amb (Retd) TCA Raghavan 5 FSI AND SOUTH ASIA Monish Gulati 7 FRAGILITY IN PAKISTAN Rana Banerji 9 MEASURING FRAGILITY: A CASE STUDY OF PAKISTAN Sadia Tasleem 11 CHINA AND THE FSI: DECENNARY TRENDS, 2007-2016 Chao Xie 13 BANGLADESH: A CONFLICT SHATTER ZONE Mirza Zulfiqur Rahman 15 FSI AFGHANISTAN: LIMITED SCOPE FOR USE Rajeshwari Krishnamurthy 17 SRI LANKA: FAULT-LINES IN THE TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE PROCESS Aaranya Rajasingam 19 FSI AND NEPAL Dr Pramod Jaiswal 21 FSI AND MYANMAR: MORE CLARITY REQUIRED Amb (Retd) Preet Malik
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FRAGILE STATES INDEX 2016 A REVIEW IPCS Special Report #184 November 2016
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FRAGILE STATES INDEX 2016: A REVIEW IPCS SPECIAL REPORT #184 | NOVEMBER 2016 1 INTRODUCTION: ASSESSING THE INDEX By Derek Verbakel and Marie Pavageau Research staff, IPCS Since its inception in 2005, the annual index produced by the Washington DC-based Fund for Peace has ranked 178 countries based on measures of their stability and the pressures they face. The vast amount of information acquisition and interpretation involved in such a project is no small task and the commendable objective of the Fragile States Index (FSI), aimed at policymakers and the wider public, is to inform political risk assessment and better policy responses. Called the Failed States Index when the IPCS last issued a report on it, the FSI has generated lively debate in South Asia and further afield. While it has received some qualified praise, it has also faced wide-ranging arguments by numerous scholarly and policy critics. The term 'failed state' and the FSI more broadly have been variously regarded as excessively biased and politicised, overly simplistic, and lacking analytical precision and predictive utility. Conceptual Challenges The title was amended in 2014, yet the term failed state continues to be used in the text. The term replacing it in the title, Fragile, remains little less problematic. There is a lack of clarity about what is meant by ‘fragile’ , how a state is rendered fragile, or whether fragility is relative or absolute. It is uncertain whether such a condition is measurable in any meaningful way, particularly in relation to establishing security, providing services and other public goods, maintaining the rule of law, and other presumed state functions. Leaving aside that no universal understanding exists as to what exactly constitutes a state, the FSI presupposes a neat, linear, ideal-type, and assumes as straightforward the complex interface and interplay between state and society. As a result of persisting criticism for presenting an overly grim and sensationalist image of a world going up in flames, the FSI has in recent years de-emphasised rankings to allow greater appreciation of individual country contexts and adjusted their ‘Heat Map’ to incorporate cooler colours i nto their maps and rankings spectrum.
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