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18 Foreign Pol'y Bull. 3 (2008)

handle is hein.journals/fnpbt18 and id is 1 raw text is: Global Report 2008
Global Report on Conflict, Governance
and State Fragility 2008
Monty G Marshall sand Benjamin R. Cole, George Mason University

Monty G. Marshall
George Mason University
Benjamin R. Cole
George Mason University
The Global Report series and its signature
State Fragility Index and Matrix first
appeared in the March 2007 edition of the
Foreign Policy Bulletin.' It was designed
by Monty G. Marshall and Jack Goldstone
at the Center for Global Policy, George
Mason University, and patterned after the
Peace and Conflict series created by Mar-
shall and Ted Robert Gurr in 2001. These
global report series were designed to satis-
fy the imperative for knowing the contrast-
ing conditions characterizing the many
states comprising the emerging global sys-
tem and gauging general system perfor-
mance in an era of dynamic globalization.
The original report published in 2000
sparked controversy within the global poli-
cy community with its prescient observa-
tion, and presentation of supporting evi-
dence, that the extent of warfare among
and within states lessened by nearly half in
the first decade after the [end of the] Cold
War.2 This claim was initially dismissed
as either mistaken or misinformed by most
officials and analysts in the United Nations
Secretariat when it was brought to their
attention. The claim clearly challenged the
prevailing perception of increasing global
disorder and that the world was becoming
a more, not less, dangerous place.3 It took
several years before critical reaction turned
away from examining the claim itself to
offering  explanations for the global

decrease in warfare. In the current Global
Report, we continue the original claim by
observing that global warfare has remained
in decline through 2007 and has dimin-
ished by over sixty percent since its peak in
the late 1980s. Consistent with the decline
in major armed conflicts has been the con-
tinuing increase in the number and consol-
idation of democratic regimes, rising to
ninety-four at the end of 2007 (nearly sixty
percent of the 162 countries examined in
this report). Some cause for concern must
also be reported: the number of ongoing
armed conflicts may be showing signs of
leveling off, the frequency of onsets of new
armed conflicts in the world has not
decreased substantially since the end of the
Cold War in 1991, and the occurrence of
high casualty terrorist bombings has con-
tinued to increase through 2007. It appears
that, while world politics have been suc-
cessful in gaining peaceful settlements to
many of the world's armed conflicts, sever-
al long-running wars continue to resist
peaceful settlement and new armed con-
flicts continue to break out regularly.
This report begins with a brief discussion
of general, systemic trends in global con-
flict, governance, and development, with a
detailed assessment of changes in State
Fragility since 1995. It then presents the
State Fragility Index and Matrix 2008
(Table 1) which provides an array of mea-
sures of individual state fragilities and, by
implication, a systematic assessment of the
capacities and prospects for each of the 162
independent countries (with total popula-
tions greater than 500,000) that comprise
the global system. The State Fragility
Index combines scores measuring two
essential qualities of state performance:
effectiveness and legitimacy; these two
quality indices combine scores on distinct
measures of the key performance dimen-

sions of security, governance, economics,
and social development. The latest version
of the Fragility Matrix has established a
baseline set of values for its eight compo-
nent indicators in order to measure State
Fragility in previous years and examine
changes in each indicator over time.
Global Trends and Systems Analysis
Conventional analyses of security and gov-
ernance factors have for too long relied
almost exclusively on individual or dyadic
(bilateral) analysis, that is, on the condi-
tions relevant to a particular country or
state or relative to the interactions of two
states. Systems analysis was largely con-
fined to the analysis of alliance structures
and treaty organizations. The Cold War
was, at once, the penultimate example of
dyadic analysis (the superpower con-
frontation) and a symbolic end to the
anarchic, Westphalian state system. It is a
natural consequence of the end of the Cold
War that we should begin an era of open
globalization and, with that, widen our per-
spectives to recognize the complexities and
densities of interactions, interconnections,
and networks among the myriad actors that
constitute the emerging global system of
Systems analysis necessarily focuses on
the complex relations between dynamics
(human agency and environmental forces)
and statics (physical and social attributes,
conditions, and structures). Basic societal-
systems analysis must take into account the
interconnectedness of three key, or funda-
mental, dimensions: conflict, governance,
and development (including both physical
and social capital; Figure 1). Available
technology largely determines the size and
complexity of viable societal-systems. The
qualities, and prospects, of each of the

Foreign Policy Bulletin  3

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