The photos here demonstrate, sometimes the best test is the simplest one: You’ll only know a failed state when you see it.
The 10 states that fill out the top ranks of this year’s Failed States Index — the world’s most vulnerable nations — are a sadly familiar bunch. Shattered Somalia has been the No. 1 failed state for three years running, and none of the current top 10 has shown much improvement, if any, since Foreign Policy and the Fund for Peace began publishing the index in 2005. Altogether, the top 10 slots have rotated among just 15 unhappy countries in the index’s six years. State failure, it seems, is a chronic condition. (Pics)