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17 Foreign Pol'y Bull. 3 (2007)

handle is hein.journals/fnpbt17 and id is 1 raw text is: Global Report

Global Report on Conflict, Governance
and State Fragility 2007

Global Report on Conflict,
Governance, and State
Fragility 2007: Gauging
System Performance and
Fragility in the
Globalization Era
Monty G Marshall, George Mason
University and Jack Goldstone, George
Mason University
The resignation of the last president of the
Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, in
December 1991 launched an era of dra-
matic change in world politics. The fifteen
years since the end of the Cold War have
seen a major increase in globalization, as
technical revolutions in information and
communications systems have made
world politics far more transparent and
increased the effects of changes in any
one region on other parts of the world.
They have also exposed a nascent global
system peppered with fragile, failing, and
failed states, and in which large areas
have been ravaged by years of violence,
contestation, and uneven development.
The US National Security Strategy 2006
recognizes the complex mixture of oppor-
tunities and challenges that characterize
this unfolding dilemma in its tenth sec-
tion, titled Engage the Opportunities and
Confront the Challenges of Globaliza-
tion.' Successfully managing and guid-
ing the complex dynamics of the new era
through international engagement, invest-
ment, and assistance will require a global
perspective on prevailing conditions and
trends in the key dimensions of conflict,

governance, and development.
In recognition of the need for new glob-
al perspectives on issues that affect rela-
tions among our many sovereign states,
several initiatives have been developed to
help keep global and regional actors better
apprised of shifting circumstances, situa-
tions, and trajectories in global politics.
The foundational models for regular glob-
al reporting of key issues affecting states
in the world can be found in the Stock-
holm International Peace Research Insti-
tute's SIPRI Yearbook of World Arma-
ments and Disarmament, first published in
1969, and in the annual State of the World
Atlas, developed by Michael Kidron,
Ronald Segal, and Dan Smith and first
published in 1981.
The first attempt to track global perfor-
mance trends from a global systems per-
spective was the biennial Peace and Con-
flict report series first issued by the Uni-
versity of Maryland in early 2001, mod-
eled on the Conflict Trends Internet-based
report designed by the Center for Sys-
temic Peace in 1999.2 More recently,
global trends reporting has blossomed
with the appearance in 2004 of the annual
Alert series (escola de cultura de pau,
Spain), in 2005 of the annual Human
Security Report and Brief series (Human
Security Centre, Canada), and in 2007 of
the annual Global Trends report (Develop-
ment and Peace Foundation, Germany).3
Parallel to these efforts to measure and
track important global performance trends
have been efforts to measure the capacity
of states to perform in the key dimensions
of conflict, governance, and economic and
social development. Prominent among
these efforts has been the Peace-Building
Capacity index and Ledger developed

for and reported in the Peace and Conflict
series, the World Governance Indicators
developed by the World Bank, and the
Failed States Index developed by the
Fund for Peace and reported in the journal
Foreign Policy.4
This new Global Report on Conflict,
Governance, and State Fragility is
designed as a new contribution to satisfy
the need to track key trends in the emerg-
ing global system and gauge general sys-
tem performance in an era of dynamic
globalization. The report begins with a
brief discussion of general system trends
in conflict, governance, and development
and then introduces a new, baseline mea-
sure of state capabilities and prospects, the
State Fragility Index. This Index is
based on a matrix of indicators measuring
state effectiveness and legitimacy in the
key dimensions of security, governance,
economics, and social development. The
Fragility Index has been developed over
the past several years with the support of
the US Agency for International Develop-
ment and is critically informed by the
work of the US Political Instability Task
Force, on which the authors have served
as key members for many years.5
Global Trends and Systems Analysis
Conventional analyses of security and
governance factors have for too long
relied almost exclusively on individual or
dyadic (bilateral) analysis, that is, on the
conditions relevant to a particular country
or state or relative to the interactions of
two states. Systems analysis was largely
confined to the analysis of alliance struc-
tures and treaty organizations. The Cold
War was, at once, the penultimate exam-

Foreign Policy Bulletin  3

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