Foreign Policy magazine has put out its 2012 Failed States list.
What we also need is a Successful States list, to remind the world how to do things right. At the top is the Norden (Scandinavia, Germany, Swiss, Austria) plus a good slice of Anglosphere (Canada, Australia). No huge surprises there.
As for the most Failure, we have Somalia, followed by Congo, Sudan, Chad, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, and Haiti. Again, no great surprise.
But how reliable is the list? North Korea is quite high (#22) despite it being a tyranny not a failure. Mali is quite low (#79) despite its recent near-collapse.
Here’s what I wrote about Mali on Aug 24 this year:
Ethnic rebellion? Check. Touareg rebellion reignited by Gadaffi’s downfall.
Military coup? Check. In March 2012 disgruntled sergeants and junior officers mutinied then seized power. (How easy was that?)
Corruption? Check. It had been a sham democracy, with nepotism and corruption rampant.
Islamism? Check. Islamists seized control of the north.